Fruitfly development, cell by cell
Multidirectional imaging of embryos allows researchers to track development of fruitflies in real time.
03 June 2012
In an advance that could transform our understanding of the complex cellular dynamics underlying development of animals, researchers have developed a method to track individual cells in a developing fly embryo in real time. Two papers published on the Nature Methods website today describe similar versions of the microscopic technique1, 2.
Understanding how an embryo develops from two parental germ cells into an organism with an organized, communicating and interactive group of systems is a difficult task. To date, most studies have only been able to track pieces of that development in animals such as the zebrafish Danio rerioor the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. A more comprehensive understanding of the whole process and what drives it could inform research on diseases such as cancer, and help in the development of regenerative stem-cell therapies.
Current light-sheet microscopy techniques involve illuminating one side of the sample. Either one side of a developing organism is imaged continuously, or two sides are viewed alternately, with the resultant data reconstructed to form a three-dimensional view. However, viewing from one side at a time means that the cells cannot be tracked as they migrate from top to bottom, and rotating the sample to view both sides takes so much time that when the next image is taken the cells have changed, so that they no longer line up.
Simultaneous multi-view imaging solves this problem by taking images from opposing directions at the same time and piecing data together in real time. This required massive computing power; the data sets were as large as 11 terabytes (the amount of data on about 2500 DVDs) in one of the studies1. Now every cell in a D. melanogaster embryo can be visualized as the animal develops from a fertilized egg into hatching larva.
Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Nature