The “greenish mass” you see amidst many blue circles is a mammalian cell called “Luci.” The blue circles are nuclei of other cells. Luci is one of the lucky ones because she has been successfully transfected. Transfection is one of the methods used by scientists to take DNA from one organism and put it into another. DNA tells our cells how to make proteins like the motor protein I study in my lab. These motor proteins help move important cargo within our cells. Transfection is not always straightforward; not all cells accept foreign DNA. Out of hundreds of cells, only a few, like Luci, might get transfected. “Lucies” are important for my research because I can use these cells to study how different kinds of DNA make mammalian cells behave. Finding them, however, is like fishing in the deep blue sea.
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