Getting image of a fluorescent molecule a challenge: Rangappa

Getting image of a fluorescent molecule a challenge: Rangappa

'Chemists, physicists play key role in unraveling mysteries of living cell'

University of Mysore (UoM) Vice-Chancellor K S Rangappa on Tuesday said getting the image of a fluorescent molecule in a living system, which is also dynamic in nature, was a great challenge.

Addressing the gathering during the international workshop on ‘Fluorescence Microscopy: Image Acquisitioned, Processing and Analysis’ jointly organised by Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) and UoM, at SJCE, Rangappa said, drugs were tagged with fluorescent dyes and injected into live animals, used for experiments.

“The fluorescence image of these drugs in the living organism is tracked, and for this, high-end image capturing technology is required. To get the image of a fluorescent molecule in a living system, which is dynamic in nature, is a challenge. We have live imager, but very expensive. Improving the technology or optimisation of the methods of the live imager will be affordable to all laboratories,” the VC opined.

Both chemists and physicists play a significant role in unraveling the mysteries of a living cell. Most of the pathways, such as glycolysis, TCA cycle, photosynthesis, fate of a glucose, amino acid, lipids and nucleic acids, are all elucidated vividly in lower organisms such as bacteria as well as in higher organisms including, plants and animals, he said.

Rangappa said, the varsity, under Institution of Excellence (IoE), has established several imaging facilities, including Confocal Microscope. With the introduction of fluorescent dyes in the Sangers method, many changes happened at the sequence level. Now everyone want next generation sequence, which is based on energy changes that take place during a chemical reaction.

With Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), several colour mutants are identified and well characterised. “We have yellow fluorescent protein, Cyan fluorescent and other proteins, which are excellent tools to study the various aspects of molecular biology, genetics and other related life sciences,” Rangappa said. The VC said, in Biology, apart from fluorescent dyes, major breakthrough came from the discovery of the GFP. “For this, the scientists were awarded Nobel prize. Because of this fluorescent molecule several companies, including Zeiss, have fabricated equipment to detect them in a living cell,” the VC added.

Ben Loos from Stellenbosch University, Carl Zeiss managing director Daniel Sims, SJCE Vice-Principal G M Shashidhara, and SJCE Biotechnology department associate professor S Nanjunda Swamy were present.