Home Features Best of 2013 The Best of 2013 // #84: Immunity, Up Close

The Best of 2013 // #84: Immunity, Up Close

The Best of 2013 // #84: Immunity, Up Close

A super powerful microscope has been able to capture a single molecule in action in the immune system.

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The technique is called super resolution single-molecule fluorescence microscopy.  Scientists at the University of Manchester in England used the technique to track natural killer (NK) cells, which help destroy cancer and viruses.

NK cells have receptors on them, which are clustered together at the surface.  These receptors target the proteins on other cell’s surfaces to understand if the cell is healthy of diseased.  When these NK cells are activated, the receptor clusters change in both shape and size.

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