What happens when stem cells differentiate? What molecular characteristics do they have? Questions that can now be easier answered with the help of a new open-source software. We spoke with Prof. Fabian Theis at the Helmholtz Center Munich, who participated in the software development.
Prof. Theis, where is your software package being applied?
Prof. Fabian Theis: We developed the software in collaboration with the Schroeder lab during our daily operating processes to obtain answers to specific biological questions. To do this, we needed to analyze complex microscopy raw data. The microscope is one of the oldest tools applied in cell biology but is often only used as a qualitative technique. Meanwhile, cell biology is turning more and more into a quantitative science. That's why our software tool does not focus on conventional light microscopy but rather on fluorescence microscopy that allows you to label specific molecules with dyes and make them visible. This enables you to see the distribution of specific proteins for instance. You record a fluorescence microscopy image by activating a dye-tagged protein with a laser. The protein subsequently emits light and can be located. Our tool integrates and quantifies the amount of emitted light above the cell and lets you draw conclusions on the quantity of the tagged protein. ...
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