Thursday, October 1, 2009

Immune Cells Engulf Bacteria (Phagocytosis)

Only the biggest nerds out there will truly appreciate these videos. The following are videos of a process known as phagoctosis - a eukaryotic cell (neutrophils here) engulfing, well, anything, but in these cases prokaryotic cells. The first two videos get special kudos because, not only are they especially beautiful and of high quality, but they represent the first time this process was filmed IN A LIVING THING and not in a petri dish.

This was a study from University of Bath, UK. and published in PLoS Pathogens you can download a number of other videos that are less spectacular at the bottom of that page.

Embryonic hemocytes engulf E. coli. Confocal timelapse movie of an embryo containing GFP expressing hemocytes (green) that has been subjected to injection of RFP expressing E. coli (red). In the first few frames of the movie, the bacteria are rapidly engulfed by a hemocyte. Original movie duration was 50 minutes.

And, I wish I could embed the next video but, you'll hafta download it using this link and watch it on quicktime or whatever.
The caption for video 2:
Photorhabdus rapidly freezes embryonic hemocytes. The movie on the left shows an embryo containing RFP expressing hemocytes (red) that has been injected with E. coli (yellow). The hemocytes are highly motile cells migrating within the embryo as they clear the invading bacteria. The movie on the right shows the effect of injection of Photorhadus (yellow) on the hemocytes (red). Hemocytes are able to bind the bacteria but appear frozen and lose their ability to move. Movie duration is 40 minutes. Both movies are running at the same speed (7 fps).

Cat and mouse!
This third video is included as an aside because its really cool. GET THAT LITTLE FUCKER!!! GET IT! GET IT! GET IT!

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