Researchers have devised a way to control cell movement using flashes of blue light and have used the technique to uncover the function of a protein crucial to cell motility, they report online in linkurl:__Nature__;http://www.nature.com/ today (August 19th). "This is going to promote studies of cellular behavior and even of organismal behavior," linkurl:Keith Moffat,;http://moffat.bsd.uchicago.edu/index3.html?content=people.html a University of Chicago biophysicist who was not involved with the study, told __The Scientist__. "I think it's really cool, frankly."
Other methods exist to control protein activity with light, but linkurl:Klaus Hahn,;http://www.pharmacy.unc.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/klaus-hahn a cell biologist and chemist at the University of North Carolina who led the research team, said that the method he and his colleagues developed is a big improvement. Previously,...
red circle (left) causes localized cell
protrusion and movement of another
protein PAK (shown in red at right)
to the cell edge
Image: Y.Wu, UNC-Chapel Hill
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!