Quantum dot probe, artwork

Quantum dot probe, artwork

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Credit: EQUINOX GRAPHICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Quantum dot probe. Computer artwork of a quantum dot, a nanocrystal (InAs crystal, orange) that can be used to probe the immune system. It is seen here tagged to an RNA aptamer (magenta and cyan), which is designed to seek out a particular target molecule. In this case the target molecule is a fragment of foreign DNA (red), that has been brought to the surface of a cell by the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) receptor (purple). In this way, the quantum dots are concentrated in regions where the target molecule is found and make useful probes for real-time in vivo imaging.

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