• Nobel Prize Winning Filters

Microscopy & Microtechniques

Nobel Prize Winning Filters

Jan 09 2009

Glen Spectra and Omega Optical Inc are delighted to be associated with one of the 2008 Nobel Prize recipients for Chemistry, Dr Roger Y Tsien. The Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y Tsien for their discovery and development of green fluorescent protein (GFP).

Dr Tsien, University of California San Diego, worked on expanding the range of the fluorescence proteins and, in collaboration with Omega Optical, developed specific optical filters to view his new dyes. This collaboration grew into what are now Omega Optical’s stock fluorescencefilters. Fluorescent proteins are increasingly popular because of their usefulness in live cell imaging applications, but a scientist conducting an examination of cellular structure needs more than just a fluorescent protein to label the sample. The right filters, manufactured by Omega Optical and supplied in the UK by Glen Spectra, are just as critical as a sophisticated light microscope.

While Shimomura and Chalfie extracted GFP from jellyfish and showed how it can be used as a tracer molecule, Tsien was the one  responsible for understanding how GFP works and for developing new techniques and mutants of GFP. Dr Tsien was cited by the Nobel Prize committee for contributing ‘to our general understanding of how GFP fluoresces’. Dr Tsien’s lab at UCSD has described ten new protein clones in the scientific literature, known by their colourful fruity names - mHoneydew, mCherry, mBanana, to name a few. Glen Spectra offer these prize winning filter sets for a total of 35 proteins. Glen Spectra have represented Omega Optical Inc in the UK for over 20 years and have offered the same high quality filters and service to researchers in the life sciences during this period.