Mini-Science 2011 – The dance of the molecules in cells

Mini-Science logoAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Paul Wiseman’s lecture “The dance of the molecules in cells” (April 13, 2011).

Q: Are the images from the Heidelberg conference showing cancer cells in retreat available? Please provide a link and a brief summary of why this presentation was so important.

A: Peter Friedl, a McGill Ph.D. in Physiology, gave a presentation at the University of Heidelberg that showed living or in-vivo images of tumour and immune cell migration. He used a multiphoton microscope and his new technology allows imaging deep into the dynamics of living tumours. Here is a link to a video- interview with him: New technology allows imaging deep into tumours

Here are some of his recent key publications:

  • Plasticity of cell migration: a multiscale tuning model, Friedl, P; Wolf, K J OF Cell bio Volume: 188 Issue: 1 Pages: 11-19 Published: 2010
  • Wolf, K., Wu, Y.I., Liu, Y., Tam, E., Geiger, J., Overall, C., Stack, M.S., Friedl, P. 2007. Multi-step pericellular proteolysis controls the transition from individual to collective cancer cell invasion. Nat. Cell Biol. 9:893-904.
  • Friedl, P., B. Weigelin. 2008. Interstitial leukocyte migration and immune function. Nat. Immunol. 9:839-848.
  • Andresen, V., S. Alexander, W.-M. Heupel, M. Hirschberg, P. Friedl. 2009. Infrared multiphoton microscopy: subcellular-resolved deep tissue imaging. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 20:54-62.
  • Friedl, P., D. Gilmour. 2009. Collective cell migration in morphogenesis, regeneration and cancer. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 10:445-457.

Q: Is there a way to increase the connections or “number of dance partners” in the brain since there is a drug that decreases them?

A:  We are waiting for an answer to this question from Prof. Wiseman

Q: Does microcell research follow “optic” research or visa versa?

A:  Advances in live cell biology often do follow advances in optics/microscopy research as well as advances in biological probes (such as the green fluorescent protein mentioned in the lecture). However, many of the advances in biophotonics come about in attempts to target known problems in biological and tissue imaging.

Please visit the Mini-Science website for more information about the lecture series.

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