JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish in Biotechnology

Jellyfish in Biotechnology picture

Jellyfish in Biotechnology

Since 1961 Jellyfish have contributed to advancing biotechnology. Jellyfish are fascinating creatures that have their ecosystems undersea and are involved in marine life. Jellyfish are known as members of the phylum Cnidaria which are known to be divided into many different species, which are large in numbers. There is also another term given for jellyfish in various societies it is called medusa. It has been discovered that jellyfish can be found in every ocean throughout the whole world and they can be found from the surface to the deep sea. Different categories of jellyfish can be found in different regions throughout the ocean, such as hydrozoas jellyfish can be found in the fresh waters whereas sycmophedusae jellyfish are found in coastal zones and they are also very colorful. Jellyfish are translucent animals and it can be surprising how they contribute to biotechnology.

Jellyfish have been of importance to humans for three main reasons which are:
  • Culinary uses or to consume as food
  • In biotechnology
  • In captivity
Jellyfish have been taken to be harvested and has become a tradition in most parts of the world as they are sold in the international markets. South East Asia is considered to be the largest harvester of jellyfish. The jellyfish that are found in America are recognized as 'canon ball' jellyfish for their massive size and also make a great meal because their toxins are harmless to humans.

Jellyfish have been held captive by humans because they use them to be displayed in aquariums and zoos. Holding these jellyfish captive can create massive problems because jellyfish are not adapted to closed spaces.

Biotechnology has certainly been the most convincing effect of jellyfish contributing to humans. Since 1961 jellyfish have been used for extracting bioluminescent proteins like fluorescent proteins. These actions were first performed by Osamu Shimomura who was studying photo proteins at Princeton University, which cause the bioluminescence effect of jelly fish. After these events took place Douglas Prasher, who was a post-doctoral scientist managed to sequence and clone the gene for green fluorescent proteins and made it available for other scientists to use. Since then it has shown to interest many biological scientists. In the Columbia University, Martin Chalfie worked hard to discover the green fluorescent proteins as a marker of genes and also be allowed to be inserted in to cells and organisms. Roger Tsien of the California University also managed to discover many different colors of fluorescence to be used as markers. This was why in 2008 Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien managed to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their contribution to the world with green fluorescent proteins.

Manmade green fluorescence proteins have become a massively useful tool in biological science and medicine. Under the biological field it is used as a fluorescent tag in which cells and tissues are concerned which certain genes are expressed. This shows how much these marine life creatures have contributed to human life and it has advanced our technology.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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