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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Pictures Reveal Weight of Cells
30 August 2012 3:48 pm
Guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar is tricky, but try guessing the weight of a cell just by looking at it (left). Scientists have now accomplished this feat using nothing more than a standard laboratory microscope and a digital camera. By analyzing how an object bends or refracts light (middle), image-processing algorithms can deduce its composition. Knowing an object's makeup allows one to infer its density (right), and because the microscope can also be used to measure an object's dimensions and volume, that data altogether enables researchers to calculate the cell’s mass. This technique, reported online this week in Physical Review Letters, found that human red blood cells have an average dry mass of 27.2 trillionths of a gram. This is in line with past measurements, which have typically relied on custom-built instruments. Researchers say the new approach could help monitor how live cells grow and change over time, such as in response to disease or environmental changes.
See more ScienceShots.