Watching the Production of New Proteins in Live Cells

The article, Watching the Production of New Proteins in Live Cells, was
written by Lu Wei, who acted as a lead author. The article discusses a
new technique that was utilized by the Columbia team in targeting the
unique vibrational movement of carbon-deuterium bonds that are carried
by newly created proteins the technique is known as Stimulated Raman
Scattering (SRS) (Wei 1). According to the article, the technique has
the capacity of delivering spot-dependent concentration locations of
carbon-deuterium bonds while inside living cells. The technique is
specific, highly sensitive, and is well-suited for living systems that
are under physiological conditions, which do not require staining or
killing cells (Wei 1). According to the article, the SRS technique is
superior compared to previous methods of observing protein synthesis
since scientists do not need to kill a cell in order to observe protein
synthesis.
This technique of observing newly produced proteins was discovered by
the Columbian University researchers in alliance with biologists from
Baylor College of Medicine. The team was doing the research in order to
develop a technique that was capable of producing high-resolution
imaging of freshly created proteins inside the living cells. The team
realized that through adding deuterium to a growth medium,
deuterium-labelled amino acids were incorporated by natural cellular
machineries, which constitute the needed building blocks for new protein
synthesis (Wei 1). The result of using the SRS technique and deuterium
was that only freshly produced proteins by living cells carried the
special deuterium atoms. Further, the team found out that by swiftly
scanning a focused laser location across a sample, point by point,
Stimulated Raman scattering was capable of delivering spot-dependent
concentration locations of carbon-deuterium bonds in living cells (Wei
1).
One of the questions that the article raises concerns as to whether the
new technique will facilitate in the understanding of molecular
mechanisms of different complex behavior like learning and diseases.
Understanding of protein synthesis in the living cells is a significant
achievement since most behavior results because of the action of the
proteins. Therefore, understanding their synthesis in the living cells
is essential because this will present an opportunity to fathom, which
protein are newly synthesized and their impact to the living cells. It
is through understanding the impact of the newly synthesized proteins
that will make it feasible to understand different complex behavior like
learning and diseases. There is a high probability of understanding
these complex behaviors because the technique do not require to kill a
living cell first in order to locate newly produced proteins. Hence, it
seems possible to understand the molecular mechanisms of various complex
behaviors.
Besides, the article also raises another question regarding whether
biologists will be capable of understanding how different living cells
behave when performing their function. The likelihood of understanding
how the cells behave when performing their functions is remarkably high.
Since the technique can be used to study living cells without the need
to stain or kill it, it will be possible to study when and where a new
protein has been produced (Wei 1). This will offer an opportunity of
understanding how the cells function. In addition, the technique also
presents an opportunity of understanding the brain tissues in instances
of various physiological processes. This is feasible since the technique
can be utilized on animals, when they are alive.
References
Wei, Lu. Watching the Production of New Proteins in Live Cells. New
York NY: Colombia University, 2013, August 26th. Print.
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