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Photographing Innerspaces 18

Posted by michael
from the eyes-only dept.
Makarand writes "In the past few days photographic techniques for recording phenomena at the molecular and atomic levels have been reported. Prepare to be amazed! (1) Scientists at UCLA were able to eavesdrop on cellular conversations between proteins. (2) Scientists at the University of Buffalo recorded on videotape and in real time a molecule of a particular DNA motor protein in the process of "unzipping" a double strand of bacterial DNA. A Quicktime movie is also available here. (3) Lastly, using ultrafast flash photography, scientists at the Vienna University of Technology (Austria), could for the first time ask Electrons to say "Cheese!". They could track the motion of electrons deep within atoms."
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Photographing Innerspaces

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  • by PxT (26449) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:20PM (#4679630)
    Scientists at UCLA were able to eavesdrop on cellular conversations between proteins.

    Can you hear me now? Good....
  • by quintessent (197518) <my usr name on toofgiB [tod] moc> on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:21PM (#4679645) Journal
    The X-ray pulse then hits krypton atoms, knocking out some of their electrons. The laser pulse, arriving a fraction of a moment later, allows the researchers to view other electrons tumbling into the spaces left by the knocked-out electrons.

    The researchers still cannot directly detect an electron's jumping into an empty space. But when that electron drops, it gives extra energy to a neighbor, kicking it out of the atom, too. The laser pulse illuminates this second ejected electron.

    The experiment does not violate Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which prohibits the exact measurement of both the position and velocity of a particle. The laser pulse does not reveal the position of the electron, just its velocity.


  • I read the article on "photographing" electreons and although I can appreciate the need for a short exposure, how exactly does this work? I though the wavelength of light was enormous relative in atomic terms.
  • Hello, Vienna University? Some guy named Heisenberg called for you. He didn't leave a message, but boy did he sound pissed...
  • by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:30PM (#4679730) Journal
    "The mouse literally glowed under the camera," said Gambhir, a member of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center. "We 'heard' the proteins 'talk' by watching the communication pathways come to life."

    Neat! There must be plenty of other bio-chemical applications too, like studying for nerve cells communicate and repair themselves. Such an interesting way to poke at the inner workings of life...

    Plus, you'ld have your own built-in indiglo light!

    =Smidge=

  • (1) Scientists at UCLA were able to eavesdrop on cellular conversations between proteins.
    And I thought my new Nokia was small......

    They were getting great results until that damn guy stepped in to the picture asking "can you hear me now?"

    --matt
    "Luciferase" -- the glowing green protein of the devil.
    • I'm almost positive that intercepting and recording cellular communications without permission of all parties is illegal in most states unless you belong to one of several three-letter-agencies of the US Government. But, IANAL.
  • Cellphones? (Score:3, Funny)

    by psyconaut (228947) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:04PM (#4680005)
    Scientists at UCLA were able to eavesdrop on cellular conversations between proteins."

    Wow....those most be nano cellphones those proteins are using. I knew cellphones were getting small, but not that small! ;-)

    -psy

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