RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression. Two types of small ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) are central to RNA interference. RNAi has become a valuable research tool, both in cell culture and in living organisms, because synthetic dsRNA introduced into cells can selectively induce suppression of specific genes of interest.

By identifying gene products whose knockdown is associated with phenotypic changes, large-scale RNA-mediated interference screens have demonstrated previously unknown components of biological pathways.

The acumen® Cellista laser-scanning imaging cytometer is ideal for screening RNAi studies both in cell culture, e.g. cell cycle analysis and toxicity testing, and in whole organisms such as C. elegans or drosophila. acumen Cellista combines single-shot whole well scanning with the ability to measure cell number as part of the same assay, which gives researchers the capacity to normalise responses to total cell number. This capability eliminates the requirement to run a separate proliferation assay alongside the assay of interest. It also accounts for effects such as patchy cell growth and stimulation within the well which may be missed when using a smaller field of view.

acumen Cellista’s high-throughput capability and rapid ‘on the fly’ analysis means it can conduct genome-wide screens in a matter of hours rather than weeks.

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