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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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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.