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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Video: X-rays Paint Whole-Cell Portraits
17 February 2012 6:59 pm
VANCOUVER, CANADA—Imagine photographing every seed in a watermelon without cutting a single slice. Scientists can use x-rays to create similar internal portraits of whole cells, they reported here this morning at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW). Like performing a cellular CT scan, researchers rapidly freeze a cell and snap its x-ray image once every 100 milliseconds. They can reconstruct an entire cell from 90-200 images in about 5 minutes. Using the differing light-absorption properties of organelles—the cell’s functional structures—the scientists can automatically identify and color-code this inner machinery, like in the T cell shown above (the nucleus is bright blue, mitochondria are pink, and lysosomes are yellow). Researchers can use the technique to count and calculate the volume of organelles, and even measure how much hemoglobin malarial parasites consume inside red blood cells. Peering inside a whole cell without the laborious slicing and staining of electron microscopy makes x-ray imaging quick, quantitative, and decidedly less mess.
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