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A technology that may improve drug development & discovery

This is Science Today. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are pioneering high resolution, three-dimensional microscopy to directly observe the structure of cells. Carolyn Larabell, director of the Lab's National Center for X-ray Tomography, says they can see views of cells from all angles.

Larabell:        It's a very fast way of looking at cells, so it doesn't take very long at all - only takes a couple of minutes, so within a couple of minutes you get an image of one cell, which means you can actually look at a large number of cells and this is something very important for biology. No two cells look alike and in order to get meaningful information, you have to look at a number of cells and get statistical information and we can do that, which is very unique.

Narrator:       This technique is being used for biomedical research to observe how new drug candidates act on living pathogens. So, there's the potential for improved drug development and discovery.

Larabell:        You can look at all of the structures at one time and look at a large number of cells to get a statistical measurement of how that drug is affecting a cell.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.