SEATTLE – The Allen Institute for Cell Science released the Allen Cell Collection Wednesday, which the institute calls the first publicly available collection of fluorescent-tagged stem cells.
Allen Institute scientists used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to attach the tags to the cells. These tags show when and where the structures are at different stages in the cell.
“With these tagged cell lines, we get to ‘spy’ on the organization of healthy, normal human cells in a way that scientists never could do before,” said Susanne Rafelski, director of assay development at the Allen Institute for Cell Science, in a press release.
“The images and movies we can generate from these lines show the cell’s major structures with astonishing clarity,” she said.
The cell lines are available for scientists around the world to understand the cell and investigate disease, said Allen Institute for Cell Science director Rick Horwitz.
This collection is valuable to researchers like Michael Regnier. He's a bioscience professor with the University of Washington who specializes in researching the heart.
"We can actually use these cell lines to sort of recreate those (heart) conditions and then study the problems are at the cell level," he said.
The first collection includes five cell lines: the nucleus, mitochondria, microtubules, cell-to-cell junctions, and adhesion. The Allen Institute said other collections will be released throughout 2017.