Monday, January 31, 2011

IR Spectroscopy With Superbright Light

Most analytical techniques can provide a snapshot of the average behavior of a group of cells. For example, scientists grind cells and measure levels of gene transcripts to monitor how cellular circuits turn on and off, or they use mass spectrometry to identify natural products in a bacterial colony. But these average snapshots can miss rare cells—those few that behave differently from the rest, according to Hoi-Ying N. Holman, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Details about these cells often fail to rise above the noise of the majority, but studying them could help researchers understand how cells respond differently to changes in their environment. More>