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fluorescence micrograph of dinoflagellate and bacteria from Discovery Basin in the Mediterranean

Something FISH-y

FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) is a powerful technique in which a fluorescent tag is attached to an RNA fragment that in turn binds to specific kinds of cells. This allows scientists to identify the different cells present in a sample. In this FISH image, the red comes from an RNA probe attached to a dinoflagellate, and the blue from DAPI, a fluorescent dye that binds to DNA. The small blue bodies are bacteria, and the nucleus of the dinoflagellate is visible as a lavender spot within the red cytoplasm. The cells were collected by Ginny Edgcomb, Joan Bernhard, and Bill Orsi in 2009 from Discovery Basin, an anoxic, hypersaline "lake" in the Mediterranean Sea. The team returned to the basin in 2011 as part of a Dive and Discover cruise. (Photomicrograph by Bill Orsi.)


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