Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Firefly protein lights pathway to improved detection of blood clots

Date:
January 3, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The enzyme that makes fireflies glow is lighting up the scientific path toward a long-sought new medical imaging agent to better monitor treatment with heparin, the blood thinner that millions of people take to prevent or treat blood clots, scientists are reporting.

Firefly.
Credit: iStockphoto/Sharon Day

The enzyme that makes fireflies glow is lighting up the scientific path toward a long-sought new medical imaging agent to better monitor treatment with heparin, the blood thinner that millions of people take to prevent or treat blood clots, scientists are reporting. Their study appears in the ACS' journal Bioconjugate Chemistry.

Related Articles


Bruce Branchini and colleagues describe a need for new medical imaging agents that emit near-infrared light -- the light rays that "night vision" technology detects, enabling soldiers to see in the dark. Those rays penetrate deeper into the body and could give doctors a better way of detecting the proteins involved in blood clotting. Scientists already use luciferase, the enzyme that makes lightning bugs glow, in laboratory research.

The new study describes an advance toward using luciferase in medical imaging. The scientists combined a protein obtained from firefly luciferase with a special dye that allows the protein to emit near-infrared light. In laboratory experiments, the new material successfully detected minute amounts of a specific blood protein, called factor Xa, which is used to monitor the effectiveness of heparin treatment. It offers promise for improved monitoring of heparin therapy, the article suggests.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the Hans & Ella McCollum '21 Vahlteich Endowment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruce R. Branchini, Danielle M. Ablamsky, Justin C. Rosenberg. Chemically Modified Firefly Luciferase Is an Efficient Source of Near-Infrared Light. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2010; 21 (11): 2023 DOI: 10.1021/bc100256d

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Firefly protein lights pathway to improved detection of blood clots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130040.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, January 3). Firefly protein lights pathway to improved detection of blood clots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130040.htm
American Chemical Society. "Firefly protein lights pathway to improved detection of blood clots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130040.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins