Sharper image

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 09:50 in Biology & Nature

A new microscopy method could enable scientists to generate snapshots of dozens of different biomolecules in a single human cell at once, a team from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University reported Feb. 2 in Nature Methods. Such images could shed light on complex cellular pathways and potentially lead to new ways to diagnose disease, track its prognosis, or monitor the effectiveness of therapies at a cellular level. Cells often employ dozens or even hundreds of different proteins and RNA molecules to do a complex job. As a result, cellular job sites can resemble a busy construction site, with many different types of cellular workers coming and going. Today’s methods can typically spot at most three or four types of these tiny workers simultaneously. But to truly understand complex cellular functions, it’s important to be able to visualize most or all of those workers at once, said Peng...

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