Microscopic view of the process of mitosis. Credit: Jane Stout, Indiana University.

Mitosis is the process that divides a single cell into two new cells. In this scene from mitosis, chromosomes (blue) are pulled apart by hook-like kinetochores (green) and spindle fibers (red). A light microscope called the OMX (the researchers later nicknamed it the OMG because of its stunning results) captured this image using high-resolution super-speed cameras. The incredible resolution will let scientists see where specific proteins act on spindle fibers to coordinate chromosome segregation. Such details could lead to a better understanding of what happens when cell division goes awry, as it does in cancer cells. The snapshot, which took first place in a cell imaging competition, will be displayed this weekend on an electronic billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

Featured in the April 18, 2013, issue of Biomedical Beat.