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Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Looking for the heartbeat of cellular networks

Optical approach measures molecular kinetics in living cells

Our cells’ molecules form an intricate network of interactions. Today’s techniques, however, can only be used to measure individual molecular reactions outside the cells. Since molecular concentrations are much higher in cells than in the laboratory, scientists suspect that the kinetics of molecular reactions in living cells differ substantially from external probes. „We expected the cellular reaction speed to be higher,” confirms LMU biophysicist Professor Dieter Braun. “However, our novel optical approach showed that – depending on the length of the strands – the coupling of DNA-strands inside living cells can be both faster and slower than outside.” Data yielded from living cells are highly valuable for the development of models to understand the complex interactions as well as pathological processes in biological cells. Braun and his team now plan to probe a variety of molecular reactions in living cells, visualizing the heartbeat of cellular networks. (PNAS online, 14 November 2009) (...)

 

Publication: "Hybridization kinetics is different inside cells"

Press information LMU (english)

Presseinformation der LMU (deutsch)