The story behind this nebula of jewel-toned droplets begins on a Friday afternoon in 2010, with an undergraduate student in the lab at Binghamton University where Özlem Dilek was then a postdoc. The student had the idea to take several of the BODIPY dyes the group used for cell imaging, dissolve them in a solution of methanol in water, and drip them into liquid nitrogen. Under the fluorescent lights of the lab’s imaging room, Dilek says, the droplets looked like colorful candies. Dilek is now an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of the District of Columbia, where she continues to use fluorescent dyes to study biomolecules in living cells.
Submitted by Özlem Dilek.
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