Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Fusing Droplets

Non-invasive investigation of cells and their inner structures

12 December 2018

Fusing Droplets

Arguably the most important part of our cells is the nucleus, a little container of all of our genetic material that dictates each cell’s activities. Using a type of confocal microscopy, a team of scientists have recently developed a new technique to study the inner workings of the nucleus. By measuring a nucleus’ natural movements, the team revealed that its largest structure, the nucleolus, behaves kind of like a droplet of liquid. The team monitored the nucleolus during an elusive process called nucleolar fusion, something that only occurs a handful of times during a cell’s lifespan. The image depicts nucleolar droplets (red) fusing together at different time points within a human cell nucleus (green). This new imaging technique will allow scientists to study other cell structures and processes without disrupting them, providing important insights into the inner workings and behaviours of cells

Written by Gaëlle Coullon

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