Glowing Coral Proteins Aid Medical Research

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 12, 2005   View Article

Tiny proteins that give coral reefs a mysterious glow may be key to keeping coral species alive, according to scientists. Those same proteins, they say, may also help blaze trails to new health cures.

Known as fluorescent protein, the molecules absorb light of one color and emit light of a different color. Scientists are uncertain as to why the proteins do this. But researchers believe the proteins may either help in the production of food or serve as a sunscreen.

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