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Distinguishing single cells with nothing but light
Date:3/31/2009

so far. Now that individual cells can be distinguished, Berger and Smith are actively investigating activation processes more explicitly. Preliminary IRAM experiments conducted on T cells have revealed perceivable differences between the initial resting state of a T cell and its state following an encounter with an invader.

The next step will be to use IRAM to gather data continuously so that scientists can effectively watch single cells undergo activation and react to stimuli in real-time. The ability to know not only about the aggregate responses of cells, but also be able to observe the earliest changes among individual cells, may be of profound importance in time-critical areas, such as cancer research and immunology.

"There's an obvious desire among cell researchers to be able to deliver a controlled stimulant to a single cell and then study its response over time," says Berger. "The clinical insights that might arise are currently in the realm of speculation. We won't know until we can do itand now we can."


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Contact: Evan Wendel
evan.wendel@rochester.edu
585-275-2671
University of Rochester
Source:Eurekalert

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