Method avoids need for fluorescent dyes to see cellular molecules
B. Dong et al/PNAS 2016
BOSTON — A new imaging technique takes advantage of DNA’s natural ability to “blink” in response to stimulating light. The new approach will allow unprecedented views of genetic material and other cellular players. It’s the first method to resolve features smaller than 10 nanometers in unmodified, live cells, biomedical engineer Vadim Backman said February 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
DNA and proteins don’t naturally give off light, conventional wisdom holds, so scientists have developed fluorescent dyes to attach to such molecules to make them visible in the darkness of a cell (SN: 6/5/13, p. 20). But Backman and Hao Zhang, both of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., discovered that when DNA is tickled with