Up until now, it’s only been possible to track where cells are in their life cycle once they’re dead. However, a new study outlines a method of analysing living cells by taking a close look at their nucleus.
The new study by researchers at New York University, as published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has established a method of gauging what stage of the cell cycle a living cell is currently at.
The challenge of taking measurements from a living cell meant that we didn’t know whether its shape changed over a shorter span of time. Human cell nuclei with the nuclear envelope highlighted in green. The amplitude of this fluctuation was seen to decrease as the cell cycle went on. Being able to discern where a cell sits in its life cycle will hopefully facilitate a greater understanding of the most basic processes of human biology.
This discovery stands to improve our knowledge of both healthy and diseased cells.