PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Nature: Watching molecule movements in live cells

2013-07-24
(Press-News.org) This news release is available in German.

The newly developed STED-RICS microscopy method records rapid movements of molecules in live samples. By combining raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) with STED fluorescence microscopy, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) opened up new applications in medical research, e.g. analyzing the dynamics of cell membranes at high protein concentrations. This method is now presented in Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/ncomms3093).

How do individual biomolecules move in live cells, tissues, or organisms? How do the biomolecules interact? These questions have to be answered to better understand the processes of life on the molecular level. STED fluorescence microscopy allows to pursue the movements and interactions of biomolecules in live samples with high spatial and temporal resolution. For this purpose, the structures to be studied are marked selectively using fluorescent dyes. Then, changes with time can be videotaped. However, the image sequence is rather slow, such that rapid molecule movements cannot be recorded directly. A group of KIT researchers around Professor Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus from the Institute of Applied Physics (APH) and the Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) now presents a new method to measure such rapid molecule movements in live samples in the Nature Communications journal.

The new method combines two types of microscopy. Using a confocal scanning microscope, fluorescence images are recorded point by point at fixed time intervals. Hence, the images contain an implicit time structure. This information can be used with the help of raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) to determine the dynamics of biomolecules, such as proteins, in live cells or tissue samples. However, protein concentrations often are too high to apply RICS together with conventional microscopy. For this reason, the KIT researchers combined the RICS method with STED microscopy (stimulated emission depletion microscopy). When using STED, the light spot scanning the fluorescence image can be reduced considerably. This method has already been used successfully to reach a maximum resolution in the imaging of cells. A STED microscope is a fluorescence microscope, whose resolution is not limited by the Abbe limit.

By combining raster image correlation spectroscopy with STED microscopy, KIT researchers have now succeeded in quantifying molecule dynamics in biological structures based on the raster images recorded. "This means that the STED-RICS method can be used to derive from any fluorescence image a highly resolved map of the number and movability of the marked molecules in the area scanned by the spot," Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus explains.

Professor Nienhaus' working group consists of physicists, chemists, and biologists. Interdisciplinary cooperation is indispensable to cover all aspects when developing new microscopic instruments and methods for biophysical fundamental research. When applications are addressed, other KIT researchers join the team and contribute their knowledge of molecular processes. In the case of the STED-RICS method, the team worked together with scientists from the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) and the Cell and Developmental Biology Division of the Zoological Institute.

The STED-RICS method opens up new measurement applications in life sciences. A major application is research into the dynamics of cell membranes. Numerous receptor proteins are embedded in the membranes. By interaction with externally docking ligand molecules, external signals are transmitted into the cell. With the help of STED-RICS, the researchers can now determine precisely and quantitatively the movements of both lipids and receptors. Understanding of these processes is of crucial importance to medical and pharmaceutical research. Many pharmaceutical substances are based on influencing these interactions. "About every second medical substance influences signal transduction of G-protein coupled receptors, an important sub-class," Professor Nienhaus explains.



INFORMATION:

Per Niklas Hedde, René M. Dörlich, Rosmarie Blomley, Dietmar Gradl, Emmanuel Oppong, Andrew C.B. Cato & G. Ulrich Nienhaus: Stimulated emission depletion-based raster image correlation spectroscopy reveals biomolecular dynamics in live cells. Nature Communications 4. 2013. Article number: 2093. doi:10.1038/ncomms3093.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a public corporation according to the legislation of the state of Baden-Württemberg. It fulfills the mission of a university and the mission of a national research center of the Helmholtz Association. Research activities focus on energy, the natural and built environment as well as on society and technology and cover the whole range extending from fundamental aspects to application. With about 9000 employees, including nearly 6000 staff members in the science and education sector, and 24000 students, KIT is one of the biggest research and education institutions in Europe. Work of KIT is based on the knowledge triangle of research, teaching, and innovation.

This press release is available on the internet at http://www.kit.edu.

The photo of printing quality may be downloaded under http://www.kit.edu or requested by mail to presse@kit.edu or phone +49 721 608-4 7414. The photo may be used in the context given above exclusively.



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

How do babies learn to be wary of heights?

2013-07-24
Infants develop a fear of heights as a result of their experiences moving around their environments, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Learning to avoid cliffs, ledges, and other precipitous hazards is essential to survival and yet human infants don't show an early wariness of heights. As soon as human babies begin to crawl and scoot, they enter a phase during which they'll go over the edge of a bed, a changing table, or even the top of a staircase. In fact, research shows that when ...

Are Christians becoming more 'green'?

2013-07-24
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Despite the wide-held perception that Christians have become more concerned about the environment, new research finds this so-called "greening of Christianity" is not evident among the religious rank-and-file. According to the Michigan State University-led study, Christians report lower levels of environmental concern than non-Christians and non-religious individuals. More than 75 percent of Americans are affiliated with a Christian denomination. "The results suggest this presumed greening of Christianity has not yet translated into a significant ...

Novel gene target shows promise for bladder cancer detection and treatment

2013-07-24
Scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have provided evidence from preclinical experiments that a gene known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9/syntenin (mda-9/syntenin) could be used as a therapeutic target to kill bladder cancer cells, help prevent metastasis and even be used to non-invasively diagnose the disease and monitor its progression. The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, was a collaborative effort between Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., who originally discovered the mda-9/syntenin gene, and Santanu ...

New NIST nanoscale indenter takes novel approach to measuring surface properties

2013-07-24
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of North Carolina have demonstrated a new design for an instrument, a "instrumented nanoscale indenter," that makes sensitive measurements of the mechanical properties of thin films -- ranging from auto body coatings to microelectronic devices -- and biomaterials. The NIST instrument uses a unique technique for precisely measuring the depth of the indentation in a test surface with no contact of the surface other than the probe tip itself.* Nanoindenter head Indenters have a ...

Fidaxomicin: Data subsequently submitted by manufacturer prove added benefit

2013-07-24
In the commenting procedure on early benefit assessment pursuant to the German Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG), under certain circumstances drug manufacturers may submit to the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) additional documents for dossiers. The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has now assessed such additional information for two studies comparing the antibiotic fidaxomicin, which is used for diarrhoea caused by Clostridium difficile infections, with vancomycin. In contrast to the first dossier assessment, the ...

A magnetic pen for smartphones adds another level of conveniences

2013-07-24
Daejeon, Republic of Korea, July 24, 2013 – A doctoral candidate at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed a magnetically driven pen interface that works both on and around mobile devices. This interface, called the MagPen, can be used for any type of smartphones and tablet computers so long as they have magnetometers embedded in. Advised by Professor Kwang-yun Wohn of the Graduate School of Culture Technology (GSCT) at KAIST, Sungjae Hwang, a Ph.D. student, created the MagPen in collaboration with Myung-Wook Ahn, a master's student ...

Solar system's youth gives clues to planet search

2013-07-24
Washington, D.C.—Comets and meteorites contain clues to our solar system's earliest days. But some of the findings are puzzle pieces that don't seem to fit well together. A new set of theoretical models from Carnegie's Alan Boss shows how an outburst event in the Sun's formative years could explain some of this disparate evidence. His work could have implications for the hunt for habitable planets outside of our solar system. It is published by The Astrophysical Journal. One way to study the solar system's formative period is to look for samples of small crystalline particles ...

An evolutionary compromise for long tooth preservation

2013-07-24
This news release is available in German. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, have conducted stress analyses on gorilla teeth of differing wear stages. Their findings show that different features of the occlusal surface antagonize tensile stresses in the tooth to tooth contact during the chewing process. They further show that tooth wear with its loss of dental tissue and the reduction of the occlusal relief decreases tensile stresses in the ...

New study reveals dangers to biological diversity from global cashmere garment industry

2013-07-24
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Snow Leopard Trust reveals a disturbing link between the cashmere trade and the decay of ecosystems that support some of the planet's most spectacular yet little-known large mammals. The study finds that as pastoralists expand goat herds to increase profits for the cashmere trade in Western markets, wildlife icons from the Tibetan Plateau to Mongolia suffer – including endangered snow leopard, wild yak, chiru, saiga, Bactrian camel, gazelles, and other remarkable but already endangered species of remote Central Asia. ...

Pressurized virus blasts its infectious DNA into human cells

2013-07-24
The virus that causes those painful lip blisters known as cold sores has an internal pressure eight times higher than a car tire, and uses it to literally blast its infectious DNA into human cells, scientists are reporting in a new study. Discovery of the pressure-driven infection mechanism — the first in a human virus — opens the door to new treatments for viral infections, they add in a study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Alex Evilevitch and colleagues point out that the viruses responsible for influenza, AIDS and other infections that affect millions ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] Nature: Watching molecule movements in live cells