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Technology developed by UT researchers that lights up cells to enable study of the effects of drugs and monitor disease is among The Scientist magazine’s top ten innovations of 2013.


Most bioluminescent tests, or tests that light up cells, for drug toxicity or efficacy start with cells being injected with chemicals that temporarily generate a light signal, but the signal only lasts a few minutes. The UT technology genetically modifies the cells so they light up in response to specific stimuli that can be monitored over time. The technology allows scientists to watch the cells in real time, gather more comprehensive data, ask new questions, and generate information that was not possible before.

The technology, licensed by 490 BioTech, a company founded by two UT faculty members and two then-graduate assistants, is ranked sixth on the magazine’s list. To view the article, visit The Scientist.

To read more about the technology, visit