Around 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year--but how many of us have actually seen a cancer cell up close?
New technology developed by General Electric now allows scientists to observe these villainous cells, and other diseases, in extreme detail.
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GE's DeltaVision OMX Blaze, dubbed the 'OMG' microscope, allows researchers to explore cells at unprecedented resolutions. Using a technique known as 3D Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM), it can see objects as tiny as 100 nanometers--one thousand times smaller than the width of a single hair.
“The ability to follow cellular interactions, over time at the molecular level will open up new frontiers in so many areas of life science research,” Eric Roman, general manager for research and applied markets at GE Healthcare, said in a written statement. “This is a hugely important step for cellular imaging.”
Cell images capture cancerous cells in various stages of division, so scientists can observe how the cells respond to chemotherapy, for example. Aside from cancers, researchers can observe the behavior of bacterial cells, watch malaria invade the body, and examine the cell-to-cell transmission of HIV.
GE sponsored the Life Sciences Cell Imaging Competition in 2012 to celebrate research using this new technology. Check out the slideshow below highlighting some of the best images.