Cells respond to their internal genetic programs and external stimuli by modulating the synthesis of specific mRNAs. Direct observation of mRNA expression in living cells can provide valuable information with regards to understanding fundamental processes such cell differentiation, regeneration and cancerogenesis. Molecular beacon technology is based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and the complementary pairing principles. These fluorescent molecular probes are highly specific and sensitive and are one important tool in in vitro diagnostics. Here molecular beacons are used to follow expression of stem cell markers and neural markers in live differentiating cells.
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EMBL conference: Stem Cells in Cancer and Regenerative Medicine, 2013