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Molecule-by-Molecule "Movie" of Protein Production in Live Cells.

Harvard chemist Sunney Xie and colleagues have developed a new assay allowing real-time, molecule-by-molecule "movie" of protein production in live cells.

"Although central to life processes, the expression of many important genes takes place at very low levels, making it difficult or impossible to observe using current technologies," says Xie, professor of chemistry and chemical biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "Our experiments provide the most sensitive means to date of observing real-time activity of single molecules inside cells. This new technique could provide us with unprecedented insights into gene expression and many other fundamental biological processes in living cells."

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