PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cell communication. Culture dishes containing HeLa cancer cells, showing cell communication marked by purple dots. Connexine CX26, a protein, has been added in low concentration to the bottom dishes, and high concentration to top dishes. Connexine is necessary in cell communication; it plays a role in forming "gap"junctions in the cell membrane by which cells communicate. At high connexine levels (at top), a higher degree of HeLa cell communi- cation has occurred. Cancer cells lose their ability to communicate like healthy cells. It is hoped that by increasing cell communication in cancer cells, growth of cancer may be prevented.
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