These festive blobs are unilamellar vesicles, structures that mimic the membrane surfaces found in and around cells. The vesicles serve as a model for researchers to study the ways proteins interact with lipids and other proteins on membranes—interactions that drive many cellular processes and, if disrupted, can lead to disease. Courtney Hazelton-Harrington, a PhD candidate at Colorado State University, created this image of vesicles labeled with lipids that fluoresce in green and red, shown here at 100× magnification. Hazelton-Harrington used two filters to capture the green and red lipids separately, then merged the two images to create the one you see here. Hazelton-Harrington and coworkers use the labeled lipids to understand the fluidity and phase separation of the membrane as proteins bind to it or as conditions change.
Submitted by Courtney Hazelton-Harrington
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