Cells, they're all different. Even two similar-looking cells that are supposed to work together in the same tissue might express completely different traits, and make different proteins. So how do you make left and right of it all?
A new microscope developed at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts is allowing scientists track the position and orientation of individual molecules in living cells. It has the potential to reveal unknown aspects of molecular behaviour, including those that turn cells into agents of disease.
The Y chromosome, a chunk of genetic code that is unique to male animals, isn't just physically smaller than the X. It also contains far fewer genes. The X has more than 1000 genes, while the Y has fewer than 200 — and most of them don't even work. Why do men have this odd, stunted chromosome in their genomes?
Video: Andy Lomas made this music video for a song called Seething by Max Cooper. Lomas created software that emulates biological cell growth. Just by adjusting certain parameters, such as the forces between cells or the source and quantity of nutrients, he obtains different forms.
To get a super-detailed X-ray view inside a cell — right down to the individual molecules — scientists dunk the cell they're looking at in preservative chemicals. That not only kills the cell, it changes its internal structure ever so slightly, meaning researchers aren't getting an exact look at the cell's natural state. Now, scientists at Germany's DESY Research Center have found a way around that, with a technique that's produced the world's first X-ray of an individual living cell.