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Posted: May 25, 2011

The world's first cell race (w/video)

(Nanowerk News) The first edition of the World Cell Race is now officially launched. Organized by a network of researchers in partnership with the American and the French Cell Biology Societies, this unique competition will involve cells coming from labs all around the globe.
The idea behind this original and unusual race is to gather scientific data regarding the mechanical properties underlying cell migration. This exciting scientific event offers the opportunity to test migratory capabilities of cells possibly modified for the expression of one or several gene(s). Researchers from all around the world are invited to choose their fastest cell line and send them to the closest participating Nikon Imaging Center. "Wow! This is awesome." said Wendell Lim at UCSF when first asked to become one of the participating Imaging Centers.
"The idea came to us during the last ASCB (American Society for Cell Biology) meeting where it appeared that the community working on cell migration was larger than ever. I have always been keen to mix both fun and serious science", said Manuel Théry, one of the 3 organizers of the event. "I was amazed and encouraged by the enthusiasm it immediately raised in the scientific community."
Any laboratory may participate in the Cell Race. Genetic modifications are allowed and even encouraged. The cells will run on the fibronectin coated tracks that will be fabricated by CYTOO. The final speed that will be registered will correspond to the most rapid cell covering the official distance of 100 µm.
Cells will be plated in 12-well glass-bottom micropatterned plates. Fibronectin tracks are surrounded by cytophobic material. Cells will have to attach specifically to the fibronectin coated tracks.
>Fibronectin coated cell race tracks
The race track (Fibronectin coated tracks will be fabricated by CYTOO).
To accomodate various cell sizes and develop various migration strategies, two track sizes will be provided: 4 micron wide, and 12 micron wide. Tracks run throughout the well.
The videos of the race will be shown and prizes will be given out during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Denver, Colorado (Dec 3-7, 2011).
The pre-registration of contestants is open. More information is available on the official website of the World Cell Race
May the best cell win!
Source: CYTOO Cell Architects
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