News of the WeekTECHNIQUES

A New Window on the Cell's Inner Workings

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Science  08 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5596, pp. 1155-1157
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5596.1155a

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Researchers have opened a window on midsized structures within a cell with a technique called cryoelectron tomography (cryo-ET), which combines flash-freezing of whole cells with automated electron scanning to create three-dimensional images of intact organelles. In a major proof of concept, a group reports on page 1209 the use of cryo-ET to image a network of actin filaments in the highly motile cells of the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, enabling the first structural measurements of actin's geometry in the intact cell.