Light microscopy and electron microscopy are powerful imaging techniques for the study of micro-molecular environments. While light microscopy will identify fluorescent regions of a sample, electron microscopy has much better resolution, with some electron microscopes being able to image individual atoms. Correlative light and electron microscopy combines the advantages of both, and is quickly gaining popularity. Previous studies using this technique have focused on the imaging of proteins – pictured are mVenus fluorescent proteins (yellow) embedded in a mammalian cell. The fluorescent proteins are contained within the cell membrane, but outside of the nucleus, providing ultrastructural information. Now researchers are looking to attach small fluorescent markers to molecules of interest using a novel bioorthogonal chemistry approach – the markers attach to living cells without affecting the innate biochemical processes. These fluorescent ‘tags’ are expected to survive certain reactions – tumours could be monitored in vivo during reaction with anti-cancer drugs such as doxorubicin.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.