Award-Winning Work of the 2018 UC Berkeley Image Competition at the Cell Journal Photo Exhibition

The Molecular Imaging Center (MIC) at the University of California, Berkeley is known for its use of confocal microscopes to produce some of the most compelling images, and has a reputation for being the winner of the MIC Image Contest every year. The winning entries for the 2018 MIC Image Competition will be written in the MIC’s dream calendar and will be presented as part of the Cell Picture Show…

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Nature: Tc Toxin Activation Requires Unfolding and Refolding of a β-Propeller

Bacteria have established strategies for infecting organisms and utilize them as a source of nutrients. Many bacteria use their secreted toxins to simply pierce the outer shell of the cell to destroy the cell membrane. Human pathogens such as Yersinia pestis or other bacteria from Salmonella produce a more subtle mechanism: injecting their toxic substances by using a special toxin complex.   Bacterial toxins are one of the most effective…

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Neuron: Whole-Brain Imaging of Mice during Behavior

In a recent study described in the journal Neuron, the Emily Macé and collaborators of the Botond Roska team demonstrated how functional ultrasound imaging can produce high-resolution full-motion images of the brain for specific behaviors in mice. This non-invasive technique has broad application prospects in ophthalmology, neurological and psychiatric diseases.   “Functional ultrasound imaging produces higher resolution images, and is simpler, cheaper, and easier to use than functional magnetic resonance…

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Cell: New Super-resolution Imaging Technology Developed to Reveal New Phenomena of Organelle Interaction

Li Dong, Ph.D., of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Eric Betzig and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Ph.D., of the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute of the United States, published a research paper in Cell entitled “Visualizing intracellular organelle and cytoskeletal interactions at nanoscale resolution on millisecond”. This paper pioneered the grazing incidence structured light illumination super-resolution imaging technology (GI-SIM), which can perform high-speed, long-term, super-resolution imaging of intracellular…

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New Way to Block Cancer Immunosuppression Developed

In a new study, Belgian researchers elucidated the three-dimensional structure of a protein complex that suppresses immune responses on the cell surface. They also discovered how antibodies can block this protein complex and its downstream induced immunosuppression. Such antibodies may be used to activate an immune response against tumor cells in cancer patients, thereby triggering immune cells to destroy the tumor. The results of the study were published online in…

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Recent Advances in Optogenetics (II)

(…Continued)   Cell: optogenetics makes the mouse incarnate the cruel killer doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.027     There is a killer hidden in every mouse. Researchers have found areas of the brain that control predatory behavior and have succeeded in finding a way to control their switches. Dr. Ivan de Araujo from Yale University and colleagues found two nerves in the brain that control the hunting behavior of mice, one coordinated to chase…

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Recent Advances in Optogenetics (I)

Optogenetics is a rapidly developing multi-disciplinary bioengineering technology that integrates optics, software control, gene manipulation technology, and electrophysiology. The main principle is to first use gene manipulation techniques to transfer light-sensitive genes (such as ChR2, eBR, NaHR3.0, Arch or OptoXR, etc.) into specific types of cells in the nervous system for expression of specific ion channels or GPCRs. The photo-sensing ion channel will selectively induce the passage of cations or…

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Cell: New Intelligent Microscope Developed to Observe Post-Implantation Mouse Development

So far, the clearest picture of living embryos comes from zebrafish and fruit flies. Ten years ago, Philipp Keller, a physicist and biologist at the Jenice Research Institute in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and his colleagues developed the first “digital embryo” of zebrafish, in which the zebrafish was a transparent striped fish that is usually provided to scientists for research. They scanned the zebrafish embryos with a light sheet…

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Science Advances: The Structure of IgM Revealed

In a new study, researchers from the University of Tokyo in Japan revealed the structure of a vital immune protein called immunoglobulin M (IgM) by using computer image analysis and modern electron microscopy imaging. It offers the possibility of developing more effective drugs for a range of diseases ranging from cancer to nervous system diseases for the future. The results of the study were published on Science Advances, entitled “The…

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Nature: Malaria Parasite Translocon Structure and Mechanism of Effector Export

Malaria is an infectious disease that is transmitted to people through the bite of mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium. It affects more than 200 million people each year and kills nearly half a million people each year. When bitten by a mosquito, the Plasmodium invades human erythrocytes, acquires a portion of the erythrocyte membrane, and forms a protective compartment around it, known as a vacuole.     Normal red blood cells…

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