Counting cells

Counting cells

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/CELLTECH R&D LTD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Counting cells. Screen display showing a stream of cells being counted and sorted. This is a laser- feedback controlled system. The counting of cells is called cytometry. Flow cytometry characterizes single cells as they pass at high speed through a laser beam. Speeds of up to 50,000 cells a second can be measured. The scattering of the laser beam provides a way to identify the cells. Many other characteristics, such as shape and surface texture can also be measured. The cells are then sorted as electrically-charged droplets (bottom). This also purifies the samples. Photographed at Celltech's Slough research laboratories, UK.

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