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13 March 2014 11:08 am ,
Vol. 343 ,
In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
- 13 March 2014 11:08 am , Vol. 343 , #6176
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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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