Using high-resolution electron microscopy, researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Paris have obtained unprecedented insights on incredible structures called tunneling nanotubes.
The team found that these connections, which have been viewed in neurons of mice and humans, were actually comprised of smaller, individual nanotubes.
Further more, time-lapse imaging revealed the presence of mitochondria within individual tubules.
These findings question the whole concept of cells as individual units and raise many further questions:
Do these tubules exist in other cell types?
How are they involved in pathology?
How does this change our understanding of cell-to-cell communication?
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Video credit: the Pasteur Institute