The Chemistry Nobel … And A Rap To Celebrate It

So this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was given in equal thirds to Osamu Shimomura (Woods Hole) and Martin Chalfie (Columbia) and Roger Y. Tsien (UCSD), “for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP).” As the bubbly flows and other celebratory activities ensue, how about the following rap in honor of "Notorious GFP"? Yeah. Hilarious, weird, and well, apropos. I'm guessing Tsien might be too occupied for the forseeable future to find a free second to watch it. At the Nobel press conference (broadcast over the web) Tsien (who was on the phone) told the media that he was woken up at 3 in the morning, California time, with the good news. When asked if was surprised to get the prize, Tsien said that there had been some rumors but mostly from sources that weren't particularly reliable... This got a good laugh from the press gallery--and I am sure his dry humor was delivered after only a modicum of sleep.  In any case, here's the Nobel Committee's explanation of who did what: Osamu Shimomura first isolated GFP from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, which drifts with the currents off the west coast of North America. He discovered that this protein glowed bright green under ultraviolet light. Martin Chalfie demonstrated the value of GFP as a luminous genetic tag for various biological phenomena. In one of his first experiments, he coloured six individual cells in the transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans with the aid of GFP. Roger Y. Tsien contributed to our general understanding of how GFP fluoresces. He also extended the colour palette beyond green allowing researchers to give various proteins and cells different colours. This enables scientists to follow several different biological processes at the same time. And the whole press release can be found here. UPDATE: Check out the news article here.

Author: Sarah Everts

Share This Post On