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Cells, dyes and videotape: Online scientific methods journal incorporates multimedia

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Fri., Nov. 3, 2006) -- Observing the microscopic mysteries of embryos, cells, and chromosomes is feasible with advanced live imaging technologies. In space and time, researchers can follow the fates of embryos, track migrating cells, and watch how molecules signal and interact with each other--all in their native environments. The current issue of CSH Protocols, released online today (www.cshprotocols.org), includes biomedical research techniques that incorporate this 'cellular cinematography' and--for the first time--adds multimedia content in the form of movie clips.

Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but they are static: photographs do not truly capture the lively properties of cells and embryos. Images that move in real time permit biologists to more fully observe and compare biological processes. CSH Protocols now has the capability to present movies, which may be used to demonstrate particular techniques and to show examples of experimental results.

Live cell imaging involves tagging specific proteins, organelles, or cellular compartments with fluorescent labels. Movements of the fluorescent markers are then captured and recorded using sophisticated microscopes equipped with cameras or other advanced imaging devices. Because the cells are carefully maintained under optimal growing conditions, scientists can visualize and accurately assess changes in a cell's physiology, morphology, or behavior.

In the current CSH Protocols release, two articles that incorporate imaging technologies are freely available. One describes how to track the movement of RNA molecules in the nuclei of living mammalian cells. The other outlines appropriate equipment for live imaging in Drosophila, the fruit fly used as a model in genetic and developmental studies. Both articles will be useful for many scientists interested in dynamic, microscopi
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Contact: Maria Smit
smit@cshl.edu
516-422-4127
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
3-Nov-2006


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