The Case cryo-imaging system enables high resolution, 3D mapping of fluorescently-labeled stem and cancer cells throughout the mouse. The system consists of a mouse-sized cryomicrotome; microscope; low light camera; three axis robotic positioning system; and automation, visualization, and analysis software. It provides 3D fluoresence/bright-field imaging of the block face following serial sectioning. We made tail vein injections of about 5 million Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells, a cell line used for studies of metastatic cancer and therapies. Seven days post injection, cryo-imaging surveys identified cells in the liver, adrenal gland, and tail near the injection site.

Researchers have long suspected that overweight people tend to have large fat deposits in their pancreases, but they’ve been unable to confirm or calculate how much fat resides there because of the organ’s location.

Until now.


Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center are the first in the U.S. to use an imaging technique called magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure the amount of pancreatic fat in humans. Though scientists worldwide already use MRS to investigate a number of diseases including breast cancer and epilepsy, the UT Southwestern group has successfully used the noninvasive method to measure pancreatic fat.

Berkeley, CA — There’s a new way to explore biology’s secrets. With a flash of light, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley zeroed in on the type of neural cell that controls swimming in larval zebrafish.

Using innovative light-activated proteins and gene expression techniques, the scientists zapped several zebrafish with a pulse of light, and initiated a swimming action in a subset of fish that was traced back to the neuron that drives the side-to-side motion of their tail fins.

If you wanted to perform a single run of a current model of the explosion of a star on your home computer, it would take more than three years just to download the data. In order to do cutting-edge astrophysics research, scientists need a way to more quickly compile, execute and especially visualize these incredibly complex simulations.

Russell PoldrackCan neuroscience read people's minds? Some researchers, and some new businesses, are banking on a brain imaging technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal hidden thoughts, such as lies, truths or deep desires.

New research by neuroscientists at UCLA and Rutgers University provides evidence that fMRI can be used in certain circumstances to determine what a person is thinking. At the same time, the research suggests that highly accurate "mind reading" using fMRI is still far from reality. The research is scheduled to be published in the October 2009 issue of the journal Psychological Science.

by Megan Scudellari

Analyses of individual stem cells are gaining momentum, but technological barriers persist

Stem cells are defined by their remarkable ability to self-renew and differentiate into specialized cells. But even after careful sorting, a single population of stem cells is dynamic: some divide rapidly and others more slowly; some differentiate, others self-renew; some can give rise to more lineages than others. Because of this variation, population studies of stem cells are unable to accurately address essential questions, such as defining discrete steps from a single stem cell to a complex population of cells.

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