Fireflies fascinate many, and now have one more reason to
It is almost unarguable that fireflies fascinate people, whether it’s the insects themselves or their well-known glow in the evening. Catching fireflies in mason jars for a brief moment of two to have your own lantern is almost a rite in childhood, for those who live where fireflies are, that is.
Perhaps those childhood days sitting by the creek or in your backyard was spent wondering about how fireflies light up. For some, maybe those days wondering helped make them the scientists they are today, the ones who are now releasing to the science community and the world their new research.
A new way of Diagnosis
Is firefly light is now a way of diagnosing ailments? That’s a new question a team of researchers endeavored to find an answer to. In Nature Communications, a new research was published, in which we’re told we can use the way that firefly light is produced to detect protein for the purpose of diagnoses. But what is also interesting is that for three of the authors of the study, this is not the first study about bioluminescent’s potential for being utilized as a way of diagnosing ailments.
In an another study that was published last year around the same time as the Nature Chemical Biology journal, the research suggested that the bioluminescent properties could be used for drug therapy monitoring. However, this new research, although similar, is taking a different approach to the chemical property.
The theory behind manipulating firefly light
The press release announced this new discovery and research about how scientists were able to manipulate firefly light by adjusting the enzyme that helps light up fireflies in order to sense specific molecules instead and light up when it senses it. This falls in line somewhat with the previous research and the bio-sensing of proteins and such.
Their previous research has already had success, and the findings led to the founding of Lucentix, which developed housed the drug monitoring research for patients to use. With the new research and you being able to see the luminescent results if the target protein is found, this takes out a lot of the waiting game for test results from conventional testing and is not so expensive or complicated.
However, this is just the beginning of their work with biosensors. Only time will tell what else they can do to manipulate chemical properties.