Seeds of the Future
Got Milk? How?
Making the most of a meal
Poison Dart Frogs
Deep Krill
The Littlest Lemurs
Polar Bears in Trouble
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Brainy bees know two from three
Mice sense each other's fear
Chemistry and Materials
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
A Spider's Silky Strength
Lighting goes digital
Music of the Future
Play for Science
A New Look at Saturn's rings
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Meet the new dinos
Hall of Dinos
Dinosaur Dig
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Recipe for a Hurricane
Digging into a Tsunami Disaster
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
Out in the Cold
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Finding the Past
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Little People Cause Big Surprise
A Long Haul
Electric Catfish
Food and Nutrition
Symbols from the Stone Age
A Taste for Cheese
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Adjectives and Adverbs
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Detecting True Art
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Hear, Hear
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Cocker Spaniels
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
One ring around them all
Gaining a Swift Lift
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Assembling the Tree of Life
Surprise Visitor
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Boa Constrictors
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Technology and Engineering
Bionic Bacteria
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Flying the Hyper Skies
Reach for the Sky
Revving Up Green Machines
Warmest Year on Record
Recipe for a Hurricane
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Add your Article

A Butterfly's New Green Glow

The colorful patterns on a butterfly’s wings can be mysterious and beautiful. Add a jellyfish gene to a butterfly’s genetic makeup, and the result might be even more awe-inspiring.

The jellyfish gene directs production of a chemical compound that glows green when exposed to blue or ultraviolet light. In an African butterfly, addition of this gene makes the butterfly’s eyes glow green.

All cells contain long, complicated molecules called DNA. This material provides the instructions that determine what a cell is like and control what a cell does. A gene is a piece of a DNA molecule that has a particular function, which can be passed on from parents to offspring.

In their butterfly experiment, researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Western Kentucky University started with a gene—a snippet of DNA—that allows jellyfish to produce a chemical compound that glows green. They put this DNA snippet into each of more than 10,000 butterfly eggs. About 5 percent of the eggs survived.

Of the eggs that survived and developed to adulthood, about 15 percent had offspring with glowing green eyes when researchers looked at them under ultraviolet light. Our eyes can’t see the green glow on their own.

This was the first time that researchers had successfully changed a butterfly’s genetic makeup. Others had previously added jellyfish genes to create glowing green eyes in houseflies and some other insects.

Now that they know it’s possible, scientists want to try to change butterflies in other ways. One goal is to understand how genes control the development of spots on the insects’ wings.

There may be as much information and biology as beauty and mystery in those dramatic streaks of color flitting by on a sunny spring day.—E. Sohn

A Butterfly's New Green Glow
A Butterfly's New Green Glow

Designed and Powered by™