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Digital Spindle: A New Way To Explore Mitotic Functions By Whole Cell Data Collection And A Computational Approach

Norio Yamashita, Masahiko Morita, Hideo Yokota, Yuko Mimori-Kiyosue

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From cells to organisms, every living system is three-dimensional (3D), but the performance of fluorescence microscopy has been largely limited when attempting to obtain an overview of systems’ dynamic processes in three dimensions. Recently, advanced light-sheet illumination technologies, allowing drastic improvement in spatial discrimination, volumetric imaging times, and phototoxicity/photobleaching, have been making live imaging to collect precise and reliable 3D information increasingly feasible. In particular, lattice light-sheet microscopy (LLSM), using an ultrathin light-sheet, enables whole-cell 3D live imaging of cellular processes, including mitosis, at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution for extended periods of time. This technology produces immense and complex data, including a significant amount of information, raising new challenges for big image data analysis and new possibilities for data utilization. Once the data are digitally archived in a computer, the data can be reused for various purposes by anyone at any time. Such an information science approach has the potential to revolutionize the use of bioimage data, and provides an alternative method for cell biology research in a data-driven manner. In this article, we introduce examples of analyzing digital mitotic spindles and discuss future perspectives in cell biology.