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By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Immunofluorescence uses molecules that bind to specific cellular components and when the proper substrates are added the molecules fluoresce giving beautiful depictions of cellular architecture and function. This assay allows us to see if certain molecules are present in the cell and where they are being made, stored, or processed. This helps study diseases like Gauche's diseases, which are storage diseases of sphingomylin. It is not typically used as a diagnostic tool because other assays (western blots/gel electrophoresis) are so much easier and less expensive.