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(No Longer) Blinded by the Light

It's always been hard for researchers to look at living cells under a microscope — for many cells, the light required to see them is also toxic to them. But now, a new kind of microscopy which "uses focused sheets of light to crease 3-D movies of living cells," is making it possible for researchers to see what happens within living cells without worrying about killing them, says the 80beats blog's Patrick Morgan. The technique is called Bessel beam plane illumination microscopy — thin planes of light are shot at the side of the cell and illuminate the specific plane of the cell being studied, instead of "drowning" the entire cell in light from the top, Morgan says. The HHMI researchers who created the technique — and published their study recently in Nature Methods — say it allows them to see the complexity of living cells in three dimensions and creates sharper images than standard microscopy. "This new technique improves the level of detail by more than a factor of three compared with old techniques, but the researchers say they can do still better by combining the pulsing Bessel beam technique with higher-resolution microscopy," Morgan says. "From live-action films of mitosis to the workings of individual organelles, the future of cellular imaging is a wriggling mass of 3-D footage."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

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Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.