How Much Does a Sin­gle Cell Weigh?

Science Illustrated - - MEGAPIXEL -

How much does a liv­ing cell weigh? Sci­en­tists can now an­swer this ques­tion very ac­cu­rately by means of a new cell scale. The scale is so tiny that it can be placed di­rectly un­der a mi­cro­scope to weigh a cell, while you study the pro­cesses in the cell in­te­rior. The scale in­cludes an ex­tremely thin arm, which cap­tures a cell. The arm is in­duced to os­cil­late us­ing laser, and by mea­sur­ing its os­cil­la­tions with and with­out the cell, the weight can be cal­cu­lated with an ac­cu­racy of tril­lionths of a gram. Cells usu­ally weigh 2-3 nanograms.

Photo // Martin Oeg­gerli

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