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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
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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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