Fireflies, Jellyfish and Prolactin

What is Prolactin?

Prolactin is a hormone that causes breast milk to come in. It is also associated to 300 other biological functions and is linked with problems related to autoimmune diseases. However, if a woman’s body produces too much of this hormone, it can cause infertility.

So what do prolactin, jellyfish and fireflies have to do with each other?

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Manchester used the light from firefly and jellyfish genes to track the prolactin in rats. They were able to come up with a chemical that when exposed to the light from the fireflies and jellyfish, gave them the ability to isolate and illuminate the hormone, prolactin. This is exciting because the researchers could watch and learn more about how the hormone works in the body.

This new technique could help fertility specialists better understand the role prolactin plays in infertility. And this in depth understanding of the hormone would potentially help the women who were experiencing an imbalance in their prolactin levels.

Any new research that leads to more knowledge and potential treatment options is a wonderful thing for women who are ttc (trying to conceive)!

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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.