Research in the News: Yale scientists peer into a cell in real time

A dream of scientists has been to visualize details of structures within our cells in real time, a breakthrough that would greatly aid in the study of their function.  However, even the best of current microscopes can take minutes to recreate images of the internal machinery of cells at a usable resolution.

Thanks to a technical tour de force, Yale University researchers can now generate accurate images of sub-cellular structures in milliseconds rather than minutes.

This image of microtubules, which act as a cellular scaffolding, was captured in just 33 milliseconds. “We can now see research come to life and tackle complex questions or conditions which require hundreds of images, something we have not been able to do before,” said Joerg Bewersdorf, assistant professor of cell biology and biomedical engineering and senior author of the research, published in the journal Nature Methods.

To learn more about video-rate nanoscopy, see http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmeth.2488.html.