A critical comparison between the two current methods of viewing frozen, live cells in the electron microscope: cryo-electron microscopic tomography versus “deep-etch” electron microscopy
John E. Heuser (USA)
The ultimate goal of cell biology is to understand how all of the many different sorts of molecular machines in the living cell operate in situ , and ultimately, to understand how the concerted activity of all these machines is coordinated or integrated into a whole, to create the behavior of the living cell. Electron microscopy can help to answer these questions, if it can reach the level of resolving individual macromolecules in whole cells, and if it can reach this level of resolution without at the same time introducing gross distortions in the arrangement of these molecules or in the architecture of the cell’s cytoplasm, in general. The aim of this article is to compare and contrast the two major approaches that electron microscopists are using today, in their efforts to achieve this broad, ambitious goal.
Biomed Rev 2001; 12: 11-29.
Received 6 August 2001 and accepted 20 September 2001.
Correspondence and reprint requests to Dr John Heuser, Department of Cell Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, Box 8228, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org