Confocal fluorescence images of glass surfaces coated with the cyanine dyes Alexa Fluor 647 (a) and CF660C (b) and with carborhodamine dye ATTO647N (c) after light excitation at 568 nanometres (nm). By exciting the red-absorbing dyes at 640 nm in certain areas (negative images top right), dyes are photoconverted there and it is possible to write letters on the surface that were excited at 568 nm and fluoresce at about 580 nm. The carborhodamine dye shows more efficient photobluing than the cyanine dyes.

    An undesirable effect can occur in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy: photoblueing. A new publication in „Nature Methods“ shows how it can be prevented or made useful for research.

    With two additional genes for the enzyme dioxygenase and the light-controlled anion channel ACR1, the tobacco plant can channel salt ions across the cell membrane when exposed to green light. The success can be seen in the experiment: While pollen tubes normally grow in the direction of the egg cell for fertilization, in genetically modified cells they change the direction of growth depending on the exposure to light.

    Optogenetics can be used to activate and study cells in a targeted manner using light. Scientists at the University of Würzburg have now succeeded in transferring this technique to plants.

    Survival curve of the TH-MYCN mouse model during long-term treatment with Aurora-A inhibitor (purple), ATR inhibitor (blue) or the combination of both agents (red). It is clearly visible that the combination therapy prolongs survival time.

    With two commercially available inhibitors, the cell cycle of the cancer cells in the childhood tumour neuroblastoma can be disrupted at a key point causing tumour cell death.