Scientist in Lab

Scientists Have First 3-D View of Life’s Processes in Liquid

A new liquid-cell technology allows scientists to see living biological materials and systems in three dimensions under an electron microscope, according to researchers at Penn State, Virginia Tech and Protochips Inc.

In a cover article appearing in Nano Letters, Kelly and colleagues report new insights into bacteriophage and host bacterium interactions that could in the future lead to methods to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Their images revealed structural features of the bacteriophage that were previously not well understood.

The field of liquid-cell electron microscopy has grown rapidly in recent years, but until now it has been limited to 2-D. In tomography, slices of a sample are imaged as the sample is tilted. Then, the images are stacked into 3-D using computer software.

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