Imagine if molecular and cell biologists could watch proteins and cells at work in their natural habitat in the same way that wildlife biologists observe animals in the wild. They'd sit back and witness first hand their microscopic subjects' daily routines, interactions and movements, and the places they prefer to be. This fantasy is rapidly becoming a reality thanks to new Rockefeller University research that takes advantage of a technology originally developed in the early 1980s for use in computers. Called "quantum dots," these fluorescent nanocrystals can be made to glow brightly in any desired color and thus for years have glimmered in the eyes of biologists hoping to use them for molecular and cellular imaging. But, while their potential has been clear, scientists have not been able to persuade living biological tissues to explicitly and safely take up the synthetic dots - until now.
The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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