Sarah A. Shelby, Graduate Student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University, gives a talk for the Department of Physics and Astronomy's Spring Seminar Series

04/07/2014

Contributed by Jill Ackerman

Sarah A. Shelby, Graduate Student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University, gives a talk entitled

Life at the Nanoscale: Super-Resolution Imaging of the Cell Membrane

In order to function within an organism, cells need to be able to sense their surroundings and react to stimuli, in other words, to receive, process, and respond to signals from the environment. Negative outcomes such as allergic reactions can be caused by the misfire of cellular signals that are transduced across the cell membrane. Many forms of cell signaling, including the allergic response, require the reorganization of protein and lipid molecules in the cell membrane at nanometer length scales. However, direct imaging of this reorganization in live cells has been historically restricted by diffraction, which inherently limits the resolution of conventional light microscopes. Fortunately, a new “super-resolution” fluorescence microscopy technique has been developed to beat the diffraction limit. Super-resolution microscopy exploits the photophysical properties of fluorescent molecules to locate the precise positions of each individual molecule with ~20 nanometer resolution. I will describe this technique and demonstrate how we are using it to observe the dynamic reorganization of fluorescently-labeled proteins on the cell membranes of live cells as they undergo allergic signaling.

Tuesday, April 8th, CNS 206B @ 12:10 p.m.

Pizza and refreshments provided for $1.  Please bring your own cup.  Remember to reuse, reduce, recycle.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the department assistant at jackerman@ithaca.edu . We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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