Real Science Movies

Our laboratory used a microscope to record 72 hours of many breast cancer cells growing on a microscope slide. We can see the cells using a revolutionary fluorescence tool known as GFP which comes from a jellyfish. By understanding how cancer cells grow, we can create better medicines to treat the growing cancer cells.

Our laboratory used a microscope to watch how a single breast cancer cell about 40-50 microns long undergoes cell division (mitosis). This takes about 2 hours for most cells to complete cell division. The bright structure inside the cell is called the spindle and it moves chromosomes (not seen in this video) to the newly made cells during cell division. 

Our laboratory used light from a halogen lamp on a microscope to watch how a group of lung cancer cells move on a microscope slide. This video takes places over ~24 hours. It is important for us to know how lung cancer spreads to develop new treatments that can potentially stop the spreading.


We use a multi-photon microscope to see a living lung with cancer cells (green) overlayed on top. The collagen in the cancer cells is shown in red using a technique known as second harmonic generation. With this approach we can better understand how living lung cancer cells invade the lung.