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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
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In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...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...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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ScienceShot: Centrosomes Get Their Close-Up
21 August 2012 7:01 pm
The gears that help cells divide are coming into clearer focus. Researchers have used a new type of super-resolution microscopy to zoom in on centrosomes, which anchor the fibers that enable chromosomes to separate during cell division. Centrosomes have intrigued scientists since their discovery in the late 1800s, in part because cancer cells often amass extra copies of the structures. But they’re so tiny that they’re barely visible through traditional light microscopes, and researchers haven’t nailed down how they form and what role they play in cancer. So cell biologist David Glover of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and his postdoc Jingyan Fu turned to three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy to provide sharper portraits of centrosomes and to pinpoint several proteins they harbor. Each centrosome consists of two cylindrical components called centrioles shrouded by a molecular cloud, which balloons when cells start the process of division. As the team reveals online today in Open Biology, many of the cloud proteins first gather on the centrioles, moving into the cloud once division begins. That’s the case with the protein Cnn (green), shown above close to the cylindrical centriole (top) and dispersed in the cloud (bottom, inset). With further research, scientists might be able to determine how different proteins interact to construct centrosomes. “We can put the molecular jigsaw together,” Glover says.
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