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.

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 April 16, 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 April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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