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Fluorescent Protein Educational Resources

Section Overview:

The discovery and development of fluorescent proteins from jellyfish and other marine organisms has drastically transformed cell research in recent years, providing life scientists with a minimally invasive means of studying protein dynamics and function in live cells and tissues. The websites listed below are an excellent educational starting point for individuals interested in broadening their knowledge of these unique investigative tools. Within the featured resources, information related to many different aspects of fluorescent proteins, including their history, attributes, and applications, can be found.

Web Articles

  • Bioluminescence of Aequorea - Developed and maintained by C. E. Mills, an independent research scientist whose work concentrates on the gelatinous zooplankton, this website provides significant insight into bioluminescence of jellyfish, including Aequorea victoria (from which green fluorescent protein has been extracted, purified, and cloned). Numerous photographs are featured and much of the text attempts to rectify the spread of misinformation regarding jellyfish luminescence and fluorescence.
  • Fluorescent Protein Calcium Imaging Tutorial at University of Barcelona - The Confocal Microscopy and Cellular Micromanipulation Facility at the University of Barcelona offers a tutorial on its website that explores how fluorescent dyes and fluorescent proteins are used to measure intracellular calcium. Within the tutorial, important terms, such as aequorin and green fluorescent protein, are linked to additional pages with more detailed information and pertinent figures, images, and diagrams.
  • Fluorescent Proteins in Plants - This valuable web resource provided by Jim Haseloff at the University of Cambridge is part of a larger collection of slide shows, electronic lecture notes, and original references focused upon plant development and biotechnology. The information on fluorescent proteins primarily focuses on GFP, covering its history, biochemistry, mutation, and usage in the study of plant tissues via epifluorescence microscopy.
  • FRET Article - A pair of PhD students working at the Netherlands Cancer Institute provide this article on fluorescence resonance energy transfer on their website, which features a variety of science related information and programs they originally developed to aid in their own work. The article offers a well written, concise introduction to FRET and its potential applications.
  • FRET Lesson - This lesson on FRET is found on a site maintained by the Muscle Research Unit at the University of Sydney. A brief theoretical background is provided, with factors such as donor quantum yield, FRET efficiency, and Förster distance being addressed. Diagrams and equations are included to help clarify important points.
  • FRET Lesson at Everything2 - Everything2, also known as E2, is a website that allows users to contribute articles on an array of subject matters without losing the rights to their text. All articles, including the FRET lesson that is linked, are accessible for free. In the article on FRET, factors that affect transfer efficiency, detection of FRET, and popular applications are discussed.
  • FRET Lesson from the University of Washington Yeast Resource Center - The fluorescence approach taken by the Yeast Resource Center is described in detail on the featured website after an illustrated introduction to FRET is provided. Among the topics addressed are microscope set up, yeast preparation, cell mounting, and image acquisition.
  • GFP as a Teaching Model at the Center for BioMolecular Modeling - The Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM) operates within the Rapid Prototyping Center at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. This page provided by the CBM provides a short background section covering bioluminescence, Aequorea jellyfish, and GFP, as well as a teaching unit divided into three units. The first unit outlines how E. coli can be genetically engineered to express the GFP gene, the second section concentrates on DNA as an information-encoding macromolecule, and the third focuses on how the unique structure of GFP enables it to carry out its function.
  • GFP Entry at Medterms - A brief description of GFP is provided by the Medterms online medical dictionary. A number of pertinent terms and phrases in the entry, such as amino acids and gene expression, are linked to their own definitions, facilitating ease of understanding.
  • GFP Power Point - Provided by Colm O'Carrol, this Power Point presentation was produced for a senior seminar. Many key points about GFP and its usage are clearly and concisely made. Numerous images, graphs, and diagrams are included and several additional web resources are listed.
  • GFP Power Point Presentation from University of Ohio - The structure, classification, and applications of GFP are some of the main topics covered in this Power Point presentation. The applications that are chiefly addressed are FRET-based probes, biological imaging, and medical imaging. The presentation makes excellent use of visual aids, such as fluorescence images and spectral graphs.
  • GFP Short Course - A graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County authored this short course on GFP. Introductory material, attributes of GFP, general applications, and quantitative monitoring of gene expression are all covered in brief. A considerable list of references and links are provided as well.
  • Marc Zimmer's GFP Page - Dr. Marc Zimmer, author of Glowing Genes: A Revolution in Biotechnology, offers an intriguing peak into the history, structure, and uses of green fluorescent protein on his website. Written in a readily understandable manner and accompanied by numerous images and diagrams, the site is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the important protein.
  • Renilla GFP Slideshow - Developed by John E. Wampler, this presentation is based on work that was carried out in the laboratory of Milton J. Cormier in the Department of Biochemistry at University of Georgia during the 1960s and 70s. The slides provide lots of useful information about the bioluminescent sea pansy Renilla reniformis and the discovery of Renilla GFP. At the conclusion of the slideshow, a list of early annotated references on Renilla GFP and energy transfer in coelenterates is provided.
  • Wikipedia Entry for FRET - The free, open content encyclopedia known as Wikipedia contains a useful entry on FRET that discusses the history, theoretical basis, and applications of the technique. Terms within the entry that have their own articles are hyperlinked in the body of the text, making it simple for users to explore related topics.
  • Wikipedia Entry for Green Fluorescent Protein - A free, collaborative encyclopedia, Wikipedia provides easily editable articles on an extensive array of topics. The entry on green fluorescent protein provides a concise, informative overview of the topic and includes external links that can be accessed for additional details.

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