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ZEISS at The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 2019

December 8 – 10, 2019 | Washington, D.C., USA, Booth #806

ZEISS Tech Talk

Sunday, December 8, 2019 - Theater 2 in the Exhibition Hall

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm
Using structured illumination microscopy to reveal the inner workings of the immunological synapse

John A. Hammer, Senior Investigator, Cell and Developmental Biology Center, NHLBI, NIH

Central to the function of both T cells and B cells is the intimate contact they make with antigen-bearing target cells known as the immunological synapse. Work from many labs including my own has shown that synapse creation requires large-scale reorganizations of the lymphocyte’s actin cytoskeleton in the plane of contact with the target cell. What results are robust inward flows of actin and actomyosin that serve to organize the immune cell’s antigen receptors, adhesion receptors and other molecules to promote its ultimate function- target cell killing in the case of cytotoxic T cells, and antigen extraction in the case of B cells. In this talk I will describe our efforts to reveal the complex organization and dynamics of these cytoskeletal flows using classical structured illumination microscopy (SIM) merged with total internal reflection illumination (TIRF). The challenge moving forward is to image these dynamic events in the context of immune cell: target cell conjugates so that we may better understand how the actomyosin forces generated at the synapse are harnessed to drive target cell killing and antigen extraction. I will close, therefore, with a discussion of why imaging these conjugates in 4D using Lattice-SIM may provide the necessary resolution, sensitivity and speed to answer these key questions.

12:45 pm - 1:30 pm
Studying transcription and chromatin dynamics in flies with high resolution, speed, and sensitivity

Robert J. Johnston Jr., Caitlin Anderson*, Lukas Voortman*, Mini Yuan, Alexandra Neuhaus-Follini, Sang Tran, and Elizabeth Urban

Stochastic cell fate specification diversifies cells during development. How cells randomly choose between two or more fates remains poorly understood. In the fly eye the random mosaic of two R7 photoreceptor subtypes is determined by expression of the transcription factor Spineless (Ss). Here, we use confocal microscopy to identify a two-step mechanism governing stochastic R7 subtype specification. In the first step, an early enhancer drives ss expression in R7 precursors that opens the ss locus. In the second step, transcription ceases, chromatin variably compacts, and repression limits activation by a late enhancer to a random subset of R7s. ss remains expressed in a subset of R7s and repressed in the complementary subset to determine the random pattern. Our work identifies a “prime and boost” mechanism adapted for stochastic cell fate specification.

Identifying the source of molecular noise that drives stochastic processes is challenging. To advance our studies, we needed to conduct imaging experiments with high resolution, speed, and sensitivity, beyond the capabilities of standard confocal microscopy. To address our needs, we turned to the ZEISS LSM 980 with Airyscan 2. With this microscope, we established a system to image transcription in ex vivo retinas for 24 hours, visualizing transcription and chromatin dynamics during development. Beyond the fly eye, we use the powerful ZEISS LSM 980 to image large tissues at high resolution, including human retinas and organoids.

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Choose the ideal imaging technologies for your scientific question. Meet one-on-one with product specialists who can discuss your challenges, answer your questions, share application data and provide information on these instruments.

ZEISS Axio Observer 7 

Your open and flexible inverted microscope platform

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Your flexible platform for fast and gentle 3D superresolution microscopy

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ZEISS LSM 980 with Airyscan 2

Your next generation confocal for fast and gentle multiplex imaging

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ZEISS Smart Microscopy

Your workflow for more efficient imaging in the laboratory

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arivis InViewR

3D and 4D image visualization combined with interactive Virtual Reality segmentation

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Location & Directions

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001