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Microscopy

Chemistry in Pictures: The inner life of cells

by Manny Morone
January 6, 2020

20200103lnp20-cells.jpg
Credit: Ralph Lange

Ralph Lange used a confocal microscope to capture this image of bovine endothelial cells which are about 100 µm wide. Although this was just a practice exercise with dead cells, Lange’s postdoc work at Stanford University has to do with making polymer materials that can sneak RNA into cells while they’re still alive. By using a variety of stains and a microscope, Lange and coworkers can track whether the RNA has entered certain cells in real time. The fluorescent stains in this photo are Texas Red-X (red) which is binding to actin filaments; boron-dipyrromethene (blue, also known as BODIPY) binding to microtubules; and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (green, also known as DAPI) binding to DNA in the cells’ nuclei.

Submitted by Ralph Lange

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