Just a few short decades ago, cell biologists--essentially relegated to the tissue culture equivalent of Flatland--couldn't imagine working in three dimensions without sacrificing their subjects, much less having the ability to view the impact of their work in real time, over time. Now, state-of-the-art imaging technologies and new biological reagents and probes are sending biologists and other scientists on fantastic voyages into the molecular world of living animals to watch how cancer develops, grows, and spreads.

"This isn't just three-dimensional biology--this is four-dimensional analysis," enthuses molecular biologist Harvey R. Herschman, director of basic research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA is home to one of three new In vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers, or ICMICs, established early this year with the support of grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The other two centers are at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School...

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