Unveiling Chromatin Dynamics: A Light Scattering Approach

Understanding the inner workings of a cell is crucial in biology and chromatin, the tightly packed DNA within the cell nucleus plays a central role in many cellular processes. However, studying chromatin dynamics has been challenging due to its constant motion within the nucleus. Traditional techniques often rely on fluorescent labels, which can interfere with cellular processes.

This research introduces a new technique called interferometric scattering correlation spectroscopy (iSCORS) that overcomes these limitations. iSCORS is a label-free method that uses light scattering to probe the nanoscopic configurations of chromatin within live cell nuclei. By analyzing the time-varying scattering signals generated by chromatin motion, iSCORS can reveal changes in chromatin condensation, a key factor in gene regulation.

The study demonstrates the effectiveness of iSCORS in studying live cells. The researchers observed spontaneous fluctuations in chromatin condensation, suggesting a dynamic interplay between different chromatin states. Additionally, they found that inhibiting transcription, the process by which DNA is copied into RNA, altered the iSCORS signals. This indicates that iSCORS can visualize chromatin structure and shed light on how these structures are linked to cellular activities.

Overall, iSCORS represents a significant advancement in optics and photonics for biological applications. This label-free technique offers a powerful tool for researchers to study chromatin dynamics in live cells, providing new insights into gene regulation and cellular health.

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