Jonathan Weissman’s team observed cancer cells circulating in the doomed mouse. Engineered with a bioluminescent enzyme, they first appeared in scans such that a small navy blue diamond was recorded near the heart; A week later, green and two distinct bright red streaks appear in the mouse’s upper body in the form of a triangle. For 54 days, the mouse resembled a lava lamp.
The pictures would be familiar to any cancer biologist, but they didn’t really tell you much about what was going on: why the cancer was metastasizing or which cells were responsible. For that, Weissman’s team designed a new tool. Inside the original Navy Blue Diamond, he had engineered the black box’s microbiological equivalent of an airplane – a “molecular recorder” that, after the mouse’s death, allowed them to extract cells and air intimate footage of a single cancerous climb. Could give permission to give.
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