Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intelligent microscopy: Software runs experiments on its own

Date:
March 10, 2011
Source:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Summary:
Scientists in Germany have created new software that rapidly learns what researchers are looking for and automatically performs complex microscopy experiments.

Micropilot detected cells at particular stages of cell division (each row shows one cell), and then instructed the microscope to remove fluorescent tags from proteins in half the cell’s nucleus (left), and record what happened next (middle and right).
Credit: EMBL

Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg created new software that rapidly learns what researchers are looking for and automatically performs complex microscopy experiments. The work is published in Nature Methods.

Related Articles


The sight of a researcher sitting at a microscope for hours, painstakingly searching for the right cells, may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to new software created by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Presented in Nature Methods, the novel computer programme can rapidly learn what the scientist is looking for and then takes over this laborious and time-consuming task, automatically performing complex microscopy experiments when it detects cells with interesting features.

Called Micropilot, the software brings machine learning to microscopy. It analyses low-resolution images taken by a microscope and, once it has identified a cell or structure the scientists are interested in, it automatically instructs the microscope to start the experiment. This can be as simple as recording high-resolution time-lapse videos or as complex as using lasers to interfere with fluorescently tagged proteins and recording the results.

The software is a boon to systems biology studies, as it generates more data, faster. In a mere four nights of unattended microscope operation, Micropilot detected 232 cells in two particular stages of cell division and performed a complex imaging experiment on them, whereas an experienced microscopist would have to work full-time for at least a month just to find those cells among the many thousands in the sample. With such high throughput, Micropilot can easily and quickly generate enough data to obtain statistically reliable results, allowing scientists to probe the role of hundreds of different proteins in a particular biological process.

Jan Ellenberg and Rainer Pepperkok, whose teams at EMBL designed Micropilot, have used the software to deploy several different microscopy experiments, investigating various aspects of cell division. They determined when structures known as endoplasmic reticulum exit sites form, and uncovered the roles of two proteins, CBX1 and CENP-E, in condensing genetic material into tightly-wound chromosomes and in forming the spindle which helps align those chromosomes. This software will be a key tool for the European systems biology projects Mitosys and SystemsMicroscopy, for which Ellenberg and Pepperkok are developing technology.

The Micropilot software is available as open source code at: http://www.embl.de/almf/almf_services/hc_screeing/micropilot/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christian Conrad, Annelie Wόnsche, Tze Heng Tan, Jutta Bulkescher, Frank Sieckmann, Fatima Verissimo, Arthur Edelstein, Thomas Walter, Urban Liebel, Rainer Pepperkok, Jan Ellenberg. Micropilot: automation of fluorescence microscopy–based imaging for systems biology. Nature Methods, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/NMETH.1558

Cite This Page:

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Intelligent microscopy: Software runs experiments on its own." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110124074011.htm>.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). (2011, March 10). Intelligent microscopy: Software runs experiments on its own. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110124074011.htm
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Intelligent microscopy: Software runs experiments on its own." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110124074011.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins