How hard are these protein droplets?

University at Buffalo physicists are using innovative tools to study the properties of a bizarre class of molecules that may play a role in disease: proteins that cluster together to form spherical droplets inside human cells. The scientists' latest research sheds light on the conditions that drive such droplets to switch from a fluid, liquid-like state to a harder, gel-like state. Using laser "tweezers," the scientists grab protein droplets and push them together -- experiments that reveal information about how hard or fluid the droplets are. The white scale bar in the top-right corner of this video represents a length of 5 microns.

Provided by University at Buffalo

Runtime: 0:30

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