The photo above shows the branching microtubule nucleation process in animal cells which has never been shown before. Studying the specific details of cell division, and figuring out when and what causes a cell to divide, is difficult due to the rapid growing and shrinking of microtubules simultaneously. Using multi-color TIRF microscopy, Thomas Maresca and senior research fellow Vikash Verma at the University of Massachusetts Amherst can now clearly see and quantitatively define the branching microtubule nucleation process and the dynamic properties of individual microtubules. This branching phenomenon, witnessed in real time, opens doors for further research of cell mitosis. Learn more.