Cells contain thousands of messenger RNA molecules, which carry copies of DNA’s genetic instructions to the rest of the cell. MIT engineers have now developed a way to visualize these molecules in higher resolution than previously possible in intact tissues, allowing researchers to precisely map the location of RNA throughout cells.

Key to the new technique is expanding the tissue before imaging it. By making the sample physically larger, it can be imaged with very high resolution using ordinary microscopes commonly found in research labs.

“Now we can image RNA with great spatial precision, thanks to the expansion process, and we also can do it more easily in large intact tissues,” says Ed Boyden, an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, a member of MIT’s Media Lab and McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the senior author of a paper describing the technique in the July 4, 2016 issue of Nature Methods (“Nanoscale imaging of RNA with expansion microscopy”).

 

Read more

 

 

Image credit: Yosuke Bando, Fei Chen, Dawen Cai, Ed Boyden, and Young Gyu

 

Recent News

NanoApps Athletics Inc. Established

Frank Boehm (NanoApps Medical Inc. founder) and Amanda Scott (NA CEO) join NanoApps Athletics Inc. NanoApps Athletics Inc proposes a unique synergistic biochemical/nanomedical strategy for the expedited repair and healing of Achilles tendon micro [...]

Light in a new light

In a paper published in Nature's NPJ Quantum Information ("Multiphoton quantum-state engineering using conditional measurements"), Omar Magaña-Loaiza, assistant professor in the Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Physics & Astronomy, and his team of [...]