Fly Cells Live

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's a movie worth? For researchers studying cell migration, a new "documentary" of fruit fly cells (bright green) traversing an egg chamber could answer longstanding questions about cell movement. Historically, researchers have been unable to watch this cell migration unfold in living ovarian tissue in real time. But by developing a culture medium that allows fly eggs to survive outside their ovarian homes, scientists can now observe the nuances of cell migration as it happens. Such details may shed light on how immune cells move to a wound and why cancer cells spread to other sites. Courtesy of cell biologist Denise Montell of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Featured in the June 20, 2007, issue of Biomedical Beat.