Our Blog

Posts tagged fluorescence

Categories:

The Beauty of Fluorescence
Probably not a very good title, because I love fluorescence very very much, and I find it beautiful very very often. But today I’m going to talk about my favorite dye. 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole or DAPI (cute name, in french we have a song which goes “Pomme de reinette et pomme d’api”, but anyway), is a fluorescent stain which binds to DNA. Therefore it is used in fluorescence microscopy to stain nuclei. It is particularly useful when applying multicolor fluorescent techniques, because the range of greens, yellows and reds sometimes makes it hard to distinguish between cells. DAPI’s blue makes a nice contrast, so we can never get lost.
Did I tell also that it’s the most beautiful thing to see in a microscope ? Because it is, it really is. Sometimes I have to remind myself I’m not looking at Avatar’s version of the night sky.
Top : Matt Benton. Two day old cricket embryo that has been partially separated from its egg. (zoo.cam.ac.uk)
Bottom : Dr. Heath Mills, Texas A&M University. Unidentified DAPI stained microorganisms within sediments as seen through a confocal microscope. (National Geographic)
Agathe of Frontal Cortex
The Beauty of Fluorescence
Probably not a very good title, because I love fluorescence very very much, and I find it beautiful very very often. But today I’m going to talk about my favorite dye. 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole or DAPI (cute name, in french we have a song which goes “Pomme de reinette et pomme d’api”, but anyway), is a fluorescent stain which binds to DNA. Therefore it is used in fluorescence microscopy to stain nuclei. It is particularly useful when applying multicolor fluorescent techniques, because the range of greens, yellows and reds sometimes makes it hard to distinguish between cells. DAPI’s blue makes a nice contrast, so we can never get lost.
Did I tell also that it’s the most beautiful thing to see in a microscope ? Because it is, it really is. Sometimes I have to remind myself I’m not looking at Avatar’s version of the night sky.
Top : Matt Benton. Two day old cricket embryo that has been partially separated from its egg. (zoo.cam.ac.uk)
Bottom : Dr. Heath Mills, Texas A&M University. Unidentified DAPI stained microorganisms within sediments as seen through a confocal microscope. (National Geographic)
Agathe of Frontal Cortex
Creatures of chaos
It’s revision week once again, and while studying my cell bio notes I keep getting distracted by microscopy pictures. The cytoskeleton chapter especially is a personal favorite of mine. I’m constantly amazed by these tiny little cells that build us. Text books with their pretty pictures, or me even with this picture of sand dollar zygotes taken during mitosis, don’t do them justice. Cells are always changing shape, producing vesicles, dividing, migrating, secreting, and they wouldn’t be doing so without their fibrous skeleton which allows them to organize, stretch and move. This wonderful network itself seems fixed, but it’s polymerizing and depolymerizing at all times. We are all complex creatures, able to live because we are made of chaos.
Picture credit : George von Dassow / Learn more about it
Agathe of Frontal Cortex

Contact Us

For submissions: please send images and a detailed description to our editor, Lee Jones, at leejones@artandsciencejournal.com.
Thank you and have a lovely day!