Navigation Links
Live from the scene: Biochemistry in action
Date:8/8/2011

Researchers can now watch molecules move in living cells, literally millisecond by millisecond, thanks to a new microscope developed by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Published online today in Nature Biotechnology, the new technique provides insights into processes that were so far invisible.

By combining light-sheet microscopy and single molecule spectroscopy, the new microscope can record the fluorescence of every pixel within view, and take snapshots at intervals of less than one millisecond. With it, scientists can watch and measure very fast processes, such as the way molecules diffuse, across a whole sample, even one containing several cells. This is a considerable step up from previous techniques, based on confocal microscopy, in which researchers could only observe at most a few isolated spots in a sample at a time.

"It's really visual biochemistry," says Malte Wachsmuth, who developed the microscope at EMBL. "We can follow fluorescently-tagged molecules in whole live cells, in 3D, and see how their biochemical properties, like interaction rates and binding affinities, vary throughout the cell."

Until now, chromatin the combination of DNA, RNA and proteins that forms chromosomes had been observed in two states: wound tightly together, with most of its DNA inaccessible to the cell's gene-reading machinery, in which case it is called heterochromatin; or loosely packed and easily readable, called euchromatin. But when they used the new microscope to measure the interaction between chromatin and a protein called HP1-α, the EMBL scientists made an intriguing discovery.

"In some areas that look like euchromatin, HP1-α behaves as it would in the presence of heterochromatin," says Michael Knop, now at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. "This suggests that chromatin may also exist in an intermediate state between hetero- and euchromatin, which was not observable before in living cells."

By providing a tool to watch molecules that move very fast, the scientists believe this new microscope will help to investigate processes ranging from the role of growth hormones in cancer to the regulation of cell division and signalling and the patterning of tissue development in the embryo.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sonia Furtado
sonia.furtado@embl.de
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. MSU lands $4.1 million grant to unlock plants biochemistry secrets
2. Biochemistry of how plants resist insect attack determined
3. The GW Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to host Nobel Laureate Dr. Ferid Murad
4. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology reacts to stem-cell ruling
5. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology honors 11 outstanding scientists
6. NSF grant will develop new online hub for biochemistry, molecular biology educators
7. Springer partners with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
8. ASBMB Annual Meeting to feature talks on the biochemistry of aging
9. Phytoplankton cell membranes challenge fundamentals of biochemistry
10. Biochemistry of human physiology in health and disease is focus of updated clinical text
11. Catching the West Nile virus in action
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Live from the scene: Biochemistry in action
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a ... Hospital in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for ... The results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar ... presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... research report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic ... details and much more. Complete report ... 151 pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with ... http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/601420-global-cell-culture-media-industry-2016-market-research-report.html . The Global ...
Breaking Biology Technology: