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Celldance 2013 video awards, the 'Cell Oscars,' roll out tiny red carpet

NEW ORLEANS, LA, DEC. 15, 2013Time-lapse movies of a cellular heaven and hell, a crane fly sperm cell undergoing cell division, and the early development of muscle cells were recognized with the top three awards in the American Society for Cell Biology's Celldance "Really Useful" Cell Biology Video Contest for 2013.

The awards were announced and the winning videos shown at the ASCB Annual Meeting, Sunday , Dec. 14, in New Orleans. The Celldance Awards Ceremony will be Tuesday, Dec. 17, and a winners' reel will be posted at:

Celldance 2013 also presented its special Public Outreach award to cell biologists at the Dartmouth College, Geisel School of Medicine who videotaped their performance as "The Cell Dance!"

"Cell biology is the most visual of the sciences, and our 'Celldance' awards have become the 'Cell Oscars,'" said Simon Atkinson, PhD, chairman of ASCB's Public Information Committee (PIC), which organizes the annual competition. "Taken as a whole or taken apart, these videos will be extremely suitable for classroom use," added Atkinson, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

The first-place "Really Useful" video award, which includes a cash prize of $500, was presented to Bruno Cadot, PhD, of the Myology Institute in Paris, France, for a video showing differentiation and nuclear movement of mice muscle cells over a three-day period with a 20 minutes frame rate. The nucleus of each cell is stained with green florescent protein (GFP). As a result, the movement of the nuclei of the developing cells is clearly shown.

Second place was a tie and the Celldance judges combined and then divided the prizes from second and third place to award two second-place "Really Useful" cash prizes of $250.

For his second place, Rakesh Suman, PhD, University of York in UK, created "Cellular Heaven and Hell," a time-lapse video obtained with the Phase Focus Virtual Lens 20(PFVL 20) microscope which uses ptychography to produce label free, high contrast and quantitative phase images. The healthy human gut epithelial cells in "heaven" were imaged under normal physiological conditions every 10 minutes and are played back at seven frames per second. The human gut epithelial cells that are in "hell" were treated with staurosporine to induce cell death, or apoptosis. Images were obtained every six minutes and are played back at seven frames per second

The other second place award went to Michael Schribak, PhD, Molecular Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. His move, a time-lapse video, shows the metaphase stage of meiosis in a crane fly (Nephrotoma suturalis) spermatocyte. Metaphase was captured by using a newly developed orientation-independent differential interference contrast technique. Each image in the movie represents 30 seconds, and the image acquisition and processing required about one second for each frame.

In Schribak's movie, the three autosomal bivalent chromosomes are in sharp focus at the spindle equator, along with one of the X-Y sex univalents, which is located on the right. The tubular distribution of mitochondria surrounding the spindle is clearly evident. Both polar flagella in the lower centrosome are in focus, appearing as a letter "L" lying on its side. Schribak conducted the experiment with James LaFountain, PhD, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY. The phase image was computed by David Biggs, PhD, KB Imaging Solution LLC, Loomis, CA.

In "The Cell Dance!" the winning entry in the "Public Outreach" category, Dartmouth researchers danced their favorite cellular processes. Pinar Gurel, graduate student, received the award and a cash prize of $250 for the cast of dancing biologists from the labs of Henry Higgs, PhD, Amy Gladfelter, PhD, and Duane Compton, PhD. Graduate students Jeanine Amacher, Edwin Felix and Arko Dasgupta were key organizers.


Contact: Cathy Yarbrough

John Fleischman

American Society for Cell Biology

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