DNA mutations captured on video
DNA mutations cause cancer cells to grow out of control, but also generate diversity that allows organisms to adapt to their environment and evolve. Scientists have succeeded in developing a technique by which they can observe such mutations.
So far, scientists have only had limited methods to estimate the average rate and the effect ofoin mutations, but in a new study biophysicists have documented individualolne mutations that occur in the cellork cells.
These changes occur at approximately the same rate and only about one percent of the. of them is deadly. Moreover, it seems that all bacteria in a given strain have roughly the same mutation rate. That’s about one mutation per 600 hours for ordinary bacteria and about 200 mutations per 600 hours for bacteria designed to mutate at a faster rate.
To observe mutations of the syndromeoł scientistow built 1000 microscopic tubules ofow, in ktorych placed one comobacterial tube at the closed end of each tubule. The bacteria also received a large number of componentsoin nutrients to survive in the tubule. The bacteria contained a modified DNA repair protein, whichore caused any mutations to glow.
Over the next few days, the researchers took a photo of microscopic canaliculi from time to timeow. In this wayob observed how new comobacteria’s rki and push in doł channel older. Using an automated image processing technique, scientists have been able to count the number of mutations. They were also able to assess how well the bacteria were doing. They noted that dying comorks signaled their deadly mutation. The case was similar for slower-growing comorec, whichore signaled a harmful change.
The technique can be used to assess mutation dynamics in other types of comorek, even in human comotumor cells. Scientists also hope to be able to monitor mutation rates in real time in whole organisms. They want to in this wayob to see if the roThat different tissues have rodifferent indicators of mutations.