Swiss Scientists have produced a glow-in-the-dark mouse to better study cellular activity. Studies specifically aim to explain the activities of the mitochondria.
From time to time, we witness that scientists use very interesting methods in their studies. Adding a new one to these studies, Swiss scientists turned an experimental mouse to glow in the dark.
Researchers transformed a lab mouse to glow in the dark to reveal the secrets of mitochondria. Thus, it will be revealed how cellular structures work and new scientific breakthroughs will be possible.
Glowing mice are not new
In fact, it is not uncommon to brighten biological structures or mice in scientific studies. Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) makes a difference with its approach. In this technique, the glow of living things is accomplished in the same way as fireflies.
Mitochondria are the energy source of cells, as has been said in biology lessons for years. It takes oxygen and nutrients and turns them into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Thanks to ATP, we carry out energy transport and we can perform our metabolic activities. Over time, the activity of mitochondria decreases and stops. Researchers are also trying to find out why.
The electrical currents inside and outside the mitochondria provide a suitable environment for the passage of some molecules and act as a gatekeeper. EPFL scientists have shown how these structures, whose illnesses are known, work.
The glows will illuminate the secret of mitochondria
Elena Goun, head of the study, obtained genetically modified mice using a substance called luciferase. When it reacts with another substance called Luciferin, this substance makes fireflies glow.
According to the findings, mitochondrial membrane potential becomes the universal selection criterion for mitochondrial functions. It is known that this structure plays an important role in various diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The change of this potential, which is known to decrease with age, and mitochondria studies in living cells have been imaged for the first time with this study.