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Ultrasound imaging of gene expression in mammalian cells

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Science  27 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6460, pp. 1469-1475
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax4804

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Sounding out mammalian cells

Live cell imaging allows us to observe cellular processes in real time. Most methods rely on light, and the poor penetration of light into tissues limits their application. Ultrasound penetrates tissues, and cellular reporters that respond to ultrasound have been developed recently. These reporters are air-filled protein structures that provide buoyancy in the bacteria they are derived from, but when surrounded by a fluid medium, they reflect sound waves. Farhadi et al. achieved expression from multiple genes to create these complex structures in mammalian cells. In addition to optimizing reporter production and detection, they visualize cells in a proof-of-principle experiment in mouse tumor xenografts.

Science, this issue p. 1469

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