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An article on tracing cell migration in the corneal epithelium by labeled thymidine will be found on p. 536 of this issue. Apparently one in seventy-five cells of the basal epithelium is storing up desoxyribonucleic acid for mitosis over any two-hour period and the progeny of this mitosis have a life expectancy of three and one-half to seven days.
This life span of the corneal cell is of considerable interest, but of, perhaps, wider significance is the new method by which these observations were made. Tritium-labeled thymidine is incorporated into desoxyribonucleic acid of cells preparing for division, and the labeled cells are detected by autoradiography. The method is uniquely valuable for following the fate of individual cells. Aside from the present observations on the cornea, other recent ocular applications have been those of Sidman on the complex migrations of developing cells of the retina and those of Harding, Feldherr, and
Cell Migration and Autoradiography. Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(4):479. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010481001