Cells on Camera

REPRINTED BY PERMISSION FROM MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LTD: NATURE DOI:10.1038/NATURE22369 ALEX M. VALM EL AL, ©2017

EXTREME CLOSE-UP: An image from the newly produced video of a cell

Scientists have made the most detailed video ever recorded of a living cell in action. The video shows six organelles—specialized structures within a cell—working together to process fat molecules. “It’s the first time we’ve studied so much of a live cell at once,” says Sarah Cohen, a biologist at the National Institutes of Health.

To create the video, Cohen’s team treated each organelle with dye that glowed a different color. Then they used a special microscope to observe the glowing colors and a computer to produce a detailed image of the data. “This technique lets scientists view cells as entire systems, instead of one or two parts at a time,” says Cohen.

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