January 2010

Video: Like clockwork

Using genetic engineering and computer modeling, University of California, San Diego researchers have built a genetic “clock”, in which bacteria use chemical signals to generate synchronized waves of activity. This time-lapse microscopy video shows gene-activated fluorescent protein superimposed over images of a growing three-dimensional colony of E. coli cells. Bursts of fluorescence begin at around 190 minutes, when the colony reaches a size of around 100 microns.