Colon cancer cells, fluorescence micrograph

Colon cancer cells, fluorescence micrograph

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Credit: DR TORSTEN WITTMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fluorescence micrograph of human colon cancer cells in a three-dimensional extracellular matrix. This environment mimics physiological tissue, and the cells organize into cancer organoids. Such 3D organoid cultures are used by researchers to understand the molecules and mechanisms involved in tissue formation, and in the case of cancer to understand pathological cell behavior and to develop new therapies. These cells were stained by immunofluorescence for two components of the cell cytoskeleton: Filamentous actin (red) that highlights microscopic cell surface structures and cell-cell contacts, and microtubules (white) that form a transport system inside cells. In addition, the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in cell nuclei appears green. At top right, a cell is in the process of dividing, showing condensed chromosomes and the mitotic spindle in anaphase.

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