Lucerna aims to develop RNA-based research reagents for scientific discovery. The company has invented a novel genetically encodable system to fluorescently tag RNAs in cells. This system utilizes an RNA sequence element, termed Spinach, which is appended to an RNA of interest, and which switches on the fluorescence of an otherwise non-florescent dye. This dye is based on the structure of the fluorophore in green fluorescent protein (GFP), making Spinach an RNA mimic of GFP. The company was founded by researchers from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, who are also the inventors on the fluorescent RNA aptamer technology patents and who have published many high profile scientific papers on the technology. The company has expertise fields of RNA biology, microfluidics, molecular imaging, and small molecule chemistry.