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Microscopic cells race to victory in first World Cell Race at ASCB meeting
Date:12/2/2011

DENVER, CO, December 3, 2011--A "team" of fast-moving, bone marrow stem cells from a research laboratory in Singapore has run away with the first World Cell Race, finishing first with a cellular speed record of 5.2 microns per minute (or 0.000204 inches per minute) in results announced today at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB).

The mesenchymal bone marrow stem cells grown at the National University of Singapore by Yuchun Liu, PhD, were one of 70 cell lines entered by labs from all over the world and raced on specially designed micro-tracks, a few microns wide and 400 microns long. The micro-tracks, donated by CYTOO Cell Architects of Grenoble, France, were coated with fibronectin, a natural substrate on which the cells could get traction. The racing cell lines were frozen for shipment to one of six labs around the globe where they were thawed, stained with fluorescent dyes, and raced against the clock. The action was video recorded for 24 hours and the times were sorted by custom software created at the Institut Curie in Paris, according to Manuel Thry, PhD, who along with Ana-Maria Lennon-Dumnil, PhD, and Matthieu Piel, PhD, organized the World Cell Race. Piel and Lennon-Dumnil are at the Institut Curie. Thry is with the Institut de Recherche en Technologies et Sciences pour le Vivant (iRTSV) in Grenoble, France. The institute is part of the Commissariat l'Energie Atomique (CEA).

"We measured the position and speeds of all individual cells in each group," says Thry. "For each cell line, we then determined the fastest run over 400 microns."

Thry says the idea for a cell race came to them at last year's ASCB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia where the three French scientists were struck by the large number of papers and the lively discussions about cell migration. How cells move is one of the hottest fields in research today because of the implications in cancer where motilitythe ability of tumor
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Contact: John Fleischman
jfleischman@ascb.org
513-706-0212
American Society for Cell Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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