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A Unique Technique To Visualize How The heart functions Developed

to actually see changes in the electrical potential of a single cell, multiple cells, or even the entire heart, they said. Importantly, the researchers also found that the PGH dyes could also be made of use simultaneously with other probes, such as for calcium, to provide a more complete picture of the processes influencing normal and abnormal rhythms. They found that, they could now map, in real time, action potentials, or voltage changes, of cardiac cells below the surface of the heart while following calcium transients (a measure of the local force generated by each cell) during each action potential. Dr. Waggoner, professor of biological sciences and MBIC director, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University, said that, a unique feature of the PGH dyes is their large Stokes shifts, the wavelength difference between excitation and fluorescence, which make them particularly advantageous for simultaneously mapping action potentials and calcium transients with less interference and therefore greater sensitivity. Explaining that longer wavelengths of light can penetrate farther into tissue, Dr. Ernst, senior research scientist at Carnegie Mellon's MBIC, noted that one of the dyes in particular exhibited excitation at wavelengths far into the red region of the spectrum, significantly longer than the other dyes. And this dye can image the electrical activity of cells deeper inside the heart, he stated. The researchers are trying to understand the mechanisms which influences the long QT intervals, the time that it takes a depolarised cell to return to its repolarized state on animal models. They explain that it is widely accepted that structural abnormalities of potassium channels are often associated with a hereditary condition called Long QT Syndrome, which affects between 5,000 and 10,000 people in the United States and can have fatal consequences. But that it is normal for women of pre-menopausal age to have slightly prolonged QT intervals, t
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