Poets for Science
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Green Fluorescent Protein

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I didn’t realize I was
forever surrendering myself to the microscope
when my eyelashes fluttered
against the lens in the dim room
filled with machine hums
and twinkling incubator lights.
And suddenly, I was seeing much more
than I ever had before: a web of cells
clinging and glimmering at the bottom
of a petri dish.

The cells, quivering with color,
had deepened into jades overnight.
This color is the creation of
green fluorescent protein, and
what a beauty, these eyes of
glowing green amethyst.
Suddenly I understand why
green has always been my favorite.

Let me ramble endlessly
about such a color! It was first
discovered in incandescent crystal
jellyfishes coasting in Pacific blue
with waves that romantically batter
each other until they create frothy strings
of pearly white drool. The protein
has travelled so far to be here,
expressed in these cells.

And I see it at once now,
why I surrendered.
Think about it:
Mother Nature
created this green
protein that is
sunken deep
into the sea.

Yet in the dark dish that holds
these passionately fluorescing cells,
don’t they look just like
a galaxy of
big, green stars?