Power cuts? Become a human light!

Last Updated 26 March 2011, 16:10 IST

Just as a firefly emits light from its body, is it possible for the ‘Human Body’ to emit light?
It could definitely become a reality in the near future with  research being undertaken in the area of bioinformatics, if you go by the words of Director, State Inter University Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, Dr Achuthasankar S Nair.

Computational biology

He was speaking at lecture on ‘Computational biology: Introduction and a case study of computational proteomics’, organised by the Department of Studies in Computer Science, University of Mysore, here on Saturday.

Astonished students

Addressing a jam-packed crowd, Dr Nair astonished students when he said that a protein that produces light in  a firefly, could be integrated with a human cell to produce light.

Citing an example of a rabbit ‘Alba’, which has been modified genetically to emit fluorescent light from its body, Dr Nair said that scientist Martin Chaffy had discovered the protein that produces light. Stressing on the importance of the development, Dr Nair said that progress could be made by the use of bioinformatics.

He mentioned that there is a need to have a computational microscope to look at life.
Progress at a faster rate could be achievable if youngsters take to knowledge centric approach, he added.

He said India, US and China are the countries that will come the economic, political and
knowledge powers in the future. It is time for youngsters to leave the tradition of writing unimaginative code and enter the area of research, he added.


Bioinformatics is a the application of informatics to life sciences, specifically at sub-cellular and molecular level. Bioinformatics helps in analysing DNA/ RNA sequence data and identifying drug molecules.

(Published 26 March 2011, 16:10 IST)

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