In this talk about developing GFP as a biological marker, Martin Chalfie describes the events, both serendipitous and insightful, that led to the discovery that the green fluorescent protein (GFP) could be used to track the expression and localization of proteins, thus revolutionizing modern cell biology. He also presents a strong argument for the importance of basic research in moving science forward.
These questions and answers were designed to link the iBiology video to the research paper and for use as a classroom activity.
Martin Chalfie is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University where his lab investigates the development and function of touch sensitive nerve cells in C. elegans. In 1988, Chalfie realized that GFP had great potential as a marker of gene expression in living cells and, with his colleagues, he went on to develop this… Continue Reading