Essays on Science and SocietyGE PRIZE-WINNING ESSAY

A New Approach to Fluorescence Microscopy

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Science  03 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6009, pp. 1334-1335
DOI: 10.1126/science.1200252

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The fluorescence microscope is a powerful tool for the study of molecular and cell biology, enabling researchers to peer into cells and living organisms to understand their spatial organization. Methods for tagging specific biomolecules with fluorescent labels, such as green fluorescent protein (GFP), provide a toolbox for the observation of protein organization, interactions, and dynamics (1). This enables the visualization of a host of biological phenomena, such as enzymatic processes, the development of cells and organisms, and the structural dynamics of individual biomolecules.