- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
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The study of cellular Ca signalling is indebted to Roger Tsien for the invention of fluorescent indicators that can be readily loaded into living cells and provide the means to measure cellular Ca changes over long periods of time with sub-second resolution and microscopic precision. However, a recent study  reminds us that as useful as these tools are they need to be employed with caution as there can be off-target effects. This article summarises these recent findings within the wider context of confounding issues that can be encountered when using chemical and genetically-encoded Ca indicators, and briefly discusses some approaches that may mitigate against misleading outcomes.