In the long, difficult struggle to understand--and do something about--the brain ailment called Huntington's disease, scientists have decided the best approach may be to go fishing.
The target is a strange jellyfish that has a natural ability to glow in the dark when pestered, showing its irritation in eerie green light.
The glow, they hope, will lead toward a cure for Huntington's disease, a fatal brain disorder first noted among people living on the eastern tip of Long Island, N.Y., in 1872 by Dr. George Huntington. It was the first completely dominant genetic disease--meaning anyone who inherits the faulty gene gets the disease--described. It has always been untreatable.
In the new research, the glowing protein taken from the jellyfish will become a marker, allowing scientists to see whether, and how well, candidate drugs might work. It may allow them to find a few drugs among thousands that could treat the disease.