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Bioluminescence research in jellyfish (Image 2)


Bioluminescence <em>Aequorea aequorea</em> (Image 2)

Bioluminescence is a complex chemical reaction within a cell that releases energy in the form of light. Researchers theorize that this illumination is a form of intra-species and inter-species communication. This natural light show can be seen in a wide variety of marine organisms such as the crystal jellyfish (Aequorea aequorea) pictured here.

Dr. Osamu Shimomura, a distinguished scientist and corporation member of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a Nobel Prize winner, discovered green fluorescent protein (GFP) in Aequorea in 1961 while he was investigating the animals bioluminescent properties at Princeton University. Research on the photoprotein aequorin obtained from this jellyfish has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation from 1960 to July 2001. [Image 2 of 2 related images. See Image 1.]

Credit: Dr. Osamu Shimomura, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass.

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