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Interesting Read: Fluorescent Proteins: Shine on, You Crazy Diamond


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Hey everyone,

I was reading some documents today and I came across this gem.


Fluorescent Proteins - Shine on, you crazy diamond.pdf

It is an article about fluorescent proteins and their use in science. If anything, just scroll through and look at the structures of fluorescent proteins and the different ways you can induce fluorescence. The fluorescence imaging section is over my head, but the first few pages are really, really good.


This is the proper thing to do:


Dedecker, P., De Schryver, F. C. & Hofkens, J. Fluorescent Proteins: Shine on, You Crazy Diamond. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, 2387–2402 (2013).
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I thought this part was pretty cool (FP = Fluorescent protein):


"This conservation along divergent parts of the tree of life demonstrates that FPs play one or more roles that are essential to the host organisms, though this purpose remains unclear. Likewise, it remains unclear whether fluorescence emission is important to the host organism or whether it is more of an accidental byproduct. Evolution may well have repurposed FPs for different tasks in different organisms, though the present lack of FP-like proteins in freshwater or terrestrial organisms suggests that these are related to the marine environment. Some of the proposed functionality focuses on the protein’s fluorescence property, including communication (with peers, to attract prey, or to dazzle predators),5 or conversion of part of the sunlight spectrum to wavelengths more suitable for photosynthesis.  14   Others focus more on the protein’s ability to absorb light, as a way to achieve coloration,15 as photoprotection from intensive sunlight,12,16 as photoreceptors,12 or even as photochemical agents in the host metabolism. 17,18  Finally, apparently light-independent functions, such as antioxidant properties, have also been proposed.19,20"  

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