As cells perform their everyday functions, they turn on a variety of genes and cellular pathways. MIT engineers have now coaxed cells to inscribe the history of these events in a long protein chain that can be imaged using a light microscope. Cells programmed to produce these chains continuously add building blocks that encode particular cellular events. Later, the ordered protein chains can be labeled with fluorescent molecules and read under a microscope, allowing researchers to reconstruct the timing of the events. This technique could help shed light on the steps that underlie processes such as memory formation, response to drug treatment, and gene expression.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story