“OMG” Microscope Lives Up To Its Name

Photo of an epithelial cell in metaphase with microtubules stained red, kinetochores stained green, DNA stained blue

Courtesy of Indiana University

The scientists at the IU School of Medicine-Bloomington nicknamed their new microscope the “OMG” for good reason—the images it produces are showstoppers. The DeltaVision OMX imaging system (its official title) is a $1.2 million dollar microscope that can peek inside a cell and image fluorescent proteins in unprecedented detail.

Jane Stout, a researcher in the NIH-funded lab, used the OMG to create this spectacular image that won her first place in the high- and super-resolution microscopy category of the 2012 GE Healthcare Life Sciences Cell Imaging Competition.

What you’re looking at is a cell in the midst of dividing into two identical copies—a process called mitosis. Here, the chromosomes (in blue) are aligned at the cell’s equator. Microtubules (red) from opposite poles of the cell attach to the chromosomes using the kinetochores (green) and pull them to opposite ends of the cell, which then splits in half. But sometimes cells do not divide properly—a common problem in cancer. Understanding the mechanics of cell division could help us correct this process when it goes wrong.

Jane Stout’s prize: her mitosis image will light up a billboard in Times Square in New York City in April. That is a wonderful celebration of science!

NIH support: the National Institute of General Medical Sciences


9 thoughts on ““OMG” Microscope Lives Up To Its Name

  1. I personally congratulate JANE STOUT for the great Omx imaging which I foresee will pave important milestones for disease reversal in future.

  2. I hope scientists looking for treatment/cure for HD (Huntington’s disease) can check out IT15 soon using OMG.

  3. The “OMG” microscope is really a show stopper as it captures some mindblowing images … I have never seen such an image of a cell taken through a microscope.

  4. How spectacular to see it! What a testimony to the magnificent complexity of Creation! Congratulations Jane Stout. More please…

  5. The winning images, including the one above, are scheduled to be displayed this weekend on the NBC screen at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue [in New York City]. If you’re in the area, check them out on Saturday (April 20) at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., and on Sunday (April 21) at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

  6. This “OMG” microscope image is the work of great scientists at the IU School of Medicine-Bloomington. Jane Stout’s work really is worthy of this award.

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