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Janelia Fluor® Dyes

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Janelia Fluor Dyes
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These bright and photostable fluorescent labels enable imaging and tracking of individual molecules inside living cells.
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Fluorescent labels have been used by cell and molecular biologists for many years to study the location and activity of particular proteins and other molecules in a biological specimen. But fluorescent labels often bleach under the powerful light of a microscope, thus limiting the time a specimen can be examined.

Luke Lavis’s lab at Janelia has developed a family of fluorescent dyes that are significantly brighter and more photostable than fluorophores available to researchers in the past. These newer “Janelia Fluor” dyes have therefore enabled researchers to image specimens for extended periods of time, allowing for longer and more complex biology and biochemistry experiments. In particular, these dyes are bright enough to allow observation of the location and movement of individual molecules inside living cells. The Lavis lab has developed an entire palette of dyes in different colors as well as photoactivatable versions that allow the Nobel Prize–winning super-resolution localization microscopy technique developed by Janelians Eric Betzig and Harald Hess. The Janelia Fluor dyes have made this new microscopy much more available and useful to the research community.

Janelia’s interdisciplinary environment, where biologists interact closely with physicists, engineers, and chemists, made it possible to develop these Janelia Fluor dyes and their applications. Because of Janelia’s commitment to freely disseminate technologies developed in-house, the Lavis lab’s Janelia Fluor dyes have benefited hundreds of researchers worldwide, including many who come to visit Janelia to use microscopes housed within the Advanced Imaging Center.