The first protocol, available at http://www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/content/full/2007/1/pdb.prot4657, details a procedure to inject proteins into individual cells. The injected protein can be fluorescently labeled, so scientists can track the glowing protein with a microscope and observe what it's doing and where it's going inside the cell. This microinjection technique is similar to those that are used to create cloned and transgenic organisms, and it can also be applied to more complex assays--including laser photobleaching and fluorescent speckle microscopy--that yield specific insights into cellular processes.
A second freely available protocol (http://www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/content/full/2007/1/pdb.prot4660) outlines the construction and use of an enclosed microscope chamber. This device is designed to optimize the culture environment for cells--allowing them to grow as they would normally--while optimizing the conditions for viewing them by microscopy. This enables researchers to monitor the cells under a microscope for long time periods (in excess of four days), during which the cells may divide multiple times
and cycle through nearly all cellular functions. When coupled with the latest in image-analysis software, this technique allows researchers to gain a long-term perspective on events in the lives of cells.
Source:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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