Life Inside a Cell
Another week, another type of microscopy. Did you notice how much I like microscopy yet ? Even though, in biology, we have to rely on two major fields, imaging and molecular science. There are things you can’t comprehend in microscopy, just like there are things you can’t see in molecular biology. These are two sides of the exact same coin, and one must juggle between both to try and get some kind of understanding of what’s happening inside the cell. With microscopy, it’s easy to understand why it’s not perfect, why it unfortunately doesn’t hold all the answers. Most of the time, we’ve fixed an instant in time, the cell was living one moment, and was dead the next, stuck forever in what it was doing at the time. Looking into the objective, you can only see what was happening then. And even when doing microscopy on living cells, we mostly have to rely on specific markers, so all of what’s going on around is invisible. Unknown. And that’s without saying that a picture is just that, a picture, and sometimes you’re just baffled by what’s on the screen, just like when you see some abstract piece of art and think “What is this and why in the world is it worth $150,000 ?”
So we might develop wonderful technologies and extravagant techniques, just like the electron microscopy on “unroofed” cells you’re seeing here, we may well go further and further into getting details of what the inside of a cell looks like, we still have a bunch of work until we understand it all.
Still, it looks very, very cool.
Picture credits : Electron Micrographs of Unroofed Cells of D. discoideum, Immunogold Labeled for the Localization of Arp2/3 or the LimEΔcoil ProbeCells in the left panel expressed GFP-p41-Arc, which is marked by anti-GFP antibodies.
Till Bretschneider et al. Dynamic Actin Patterns and Arp2/3 Assembly at the Substrate-Attached Surface of Motile Cells. Current Biology, Volume 14, Issue 1, 6 January 2004, Pages 1–10
- Agathe of Frontal Cortex