Navigation Links
Magnet Lab researchers make observing cell functions easier
Date:5/8/2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Now that the genome (DNA) of humans and many other organisms have been sequenced, biologists are turning their attention to discovering how the many thousands of structural and control genes -- the worker bees of living cells that can turn genes on and off -- function.

To do that, they need to develop new techniques and tools. Scientists in the Optical Microscopy group at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, working in collaboration with researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada and the University of California, San Diego, have done just that, and in the process have produced back-to-back articles in the prestigious journal Nature Methods.

In the first paper, magnet-lab biologists Michael Davidson and Kristen Hazelwood worked with researchers from the University of Alberta to create two new fluorescent-protein biosensors, molecular beacons that can tell if there is activity within a cell. The biosensors can be used simultaneously to monitor two separate dynamic functions in a single cell -- a key to understanding how different proteins and enzymes (the biomolecules that cause chemical reactions) work together to complete the daily chores that help cells grow and divide. Knowing how cells work together can help researchers learn a great deal more about tumors and developmental biology, among many other things.

The researchers improved a powerful technique used to monitor cellular dynamics called fluorescence resonance energy transfer, or FRET. The technique is used to examine a new class of biosensor molecules that tether two fluorescent proteins together through an intervening peptide (which is like a polymer). Several hundred of these new biosensors have been developed over the past few years and are being used by scientists around the world to study a variety of functions, including programmed cell death, carbohydrate metabolism, cell division, hormone stimulation, acidity changes -- just about any cellular process that can occur.

In FRET, two molecules that are fluorescent act as molecular beacons under the microscope, transferring energy between each other if they interact in the living cell, said Davidson, who directs the magnet labs Optical Microscopy program. With FRET, we can see that happen, but until now, we have only been able to monitor one biosensor at a time.

The new technique, called Dual FRET, is outlined in the paper Fluorescent Protein FRET Pairs for Ratiometric Imaging of Dual Biosensors. http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v5/n5/abs/nmeth.1207.html

Further expanding the capabilities of optical microscopy, Davidson and his team worked with collaborators from the University of California, San Diego to create a new screening method for fluorescent proteins that makes them more stable under the microscope. These proteins are sensitive to light, which can bleach them out after a certain period of time. By making the proteins more stable, microscopists can observe live cell dynamics for longer periods of time. The paper describing their work, Improving the Photostability of Bright Monomeric Orange and Red Fluorescent Proteins, was published in the May 4 online edition of Nature Methods. http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v4/n9/full/nmeth1083.html

Taken together, the new technique and tool are expected to speed up experiments and expand the utility of optical microscopy by allowing two dynamic processes inside a cell to be observed at once -- and for longer periods of time.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Davidson
davidson@magnet.fsu.edu
850-644-0542
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Magnetic snakes control fluids, gravity-defying droplets, and solving a dragonfly mystery
2. Do migratory birds see the magnetic field?
3. New magnetic separation technique might detect multiple pathogens at once
4. New system would use rotating magnetic field to detect pathogens
5. UVa biomedical engineering study shows magnetic field can reduce swelling
6. Biomagnetics developed for use in new breast cancer tests
7. Researchers mimic bacteria to produce magnetic nanoparticles
8. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
9. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
10. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
11. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Magnet Lab researchers make observing cell functions easier
(Date:2/3/2017)... 3, 2017 A new independent identity strategy ... LLP (IdSP) . Designed to fill a critical niche ... market, founding partners Mark Crego and ... just in identity expertise that span federal governments, the ... The Crego-Kephart combined expertise has a common theme born ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... -- EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based identity authentication ... You Should Know About Biometrics in the Cloud ."  ... a growing concern. In traditional schemes, cryptography is used ... schemes such as username/password suffer from inherent weaknesses. ... elegant solution to the problem of high-security user authentication. ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... IDTechEx Research, a leading provider of independent market research, business ... new report, Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts 2017-2027 ... ... Revenues of ... for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts 2017-2027: Machine vision, force sensing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., a privately held biotechnology ... severe neurological disorders, today reported preliminary evidence of ... company,s investigational therapy for the treatment of Hurler ... I, or MPS I). The initial results from ... today at the 13 th annual WORLD ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... -- UCHealth ( Aurora, Colorado ) becomes ... patient management. In addition to optimizing care coordination for ... lung, UCHealth looks to improve provider workflow by decreasing ... Stephanie Brown, RN , Thoracic Nurse Navigator, says, ... Excel spreadsheet, which was extremely arduous and susceptible to ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Rhythm, a biopharmaceutical company developing peptide ... in life-threatening metabolic disorders, today announced the ... of financing with existing investors including Deerfield ... Associates, Pfizer Venture Investments, Third Rock Ventures, ... Rhythm will use the proceeds to advance ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... , 15. Februar 2017  Trianni, Inc. („TRIANNI") ... Inc. (Janssen) eine Lizenzvereinbarung über die Verwendung der ... führenden Plattform für die Entdeckung monoklonaler Antikörper. ... neuartiges chimäres Gensegmentdesign aus, das Janssen den ... Antikörpern bietet und das für die schelle Isolierung ...
Breaking Biology Technology: