It’s a wonderful piece of comparative embryology, maybe one for all introductory developmental biology courses! And look what they turn in to:
Here’s a gallery featuring the development-y winning images (click for more info):
By Marina Venero Galanternik, Daniel Castranova, Tuyet Nguyen, and Brant M. Weinstein. This microscopy image shows that Fluorescent Granular Perithelial cells (FGPs, in green) are closely associated with the blood vessels (red) that surround an adult zebrafish’s brain. FGPs are novel type of cell found in both zebrafish and mammals, and researchers suspect that they play a key role in maintaining the blood–brain barrier and clearing toxic substances from the brain. Investigators from the Intramural Research Program of the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development are using the zebrafish to further our understanding of the function of FGPs. They recently discovered that FGPs are closely related to cells that form the lymphatic system, which collects, cleans, and returns fluid to the circulatory system.
By MENU Related Pages Breakthroughs and Horizons in Bioscience Scientific Contests BioArt About BioArt Submit Entry Dates, Terms & Conditions Frequently Asked Questions Current Winners Past Winners Stand Up for Science Washington Update Newsletter Receive FASEB Email Communications News Room The 2017 BioArt Winners Scroll below for the winners of the 2017 BioArt Contest. For better viewing, click the images below to enlarge them. Marina Venero Galanternik1*, Daniel Castranova1, Tuyet Nguyen2, and Brant M. Weinstein1* 1Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD) 2University of Maryland (College Park, MD) *Society for Developmental Biology Research Focus: Cardiovascular development This microscopy image shows that Fluorescent Granular Perithelial cells (FGPs, in green) are closely associated with the blood vessels (red) that surround an adult zebrafish’s brain. FGPs are novel type of cell found in both zebrafish and mammals, and researchers suspect that they play a key role in maintaining the blood–brain barrier and clearing toxic substances from the brain. Investigators from the Intramural Research Program of the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development are using the zebrafish to further our understanding of the function of FGPs. They recently discovered that FGPs are closely related to cells that form the lymphatic system, which collects, cleans, and returns fluid to the circulatory system. Dimitra Pouli1, Sevasti Karaliota2, Katia P. Karalis2, and Irene Georgakoudi1 1Tufts University (Medford, MA) 2Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens (Athens, Greece) Research Focus: Fat metabolism These white fat cells were imaged using a specialized technology called Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS). This label-free, noninvasive process uses near-infrared light to probe the vibrations of specific types of atomic bonds. The output of CARS lets scientists “see” where high concentrations of fat (lipids) are present in intact living tissue. This research team is studying the metabolic behavior of tissues with lots of white fat cells (energy-storing) versus those with many brown fat cells (energy-dissipative). Through this NIH National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering-supported project, they aim to expand our understanding of how different fat tissues work, which might inform new interventions for obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. João Botelho, Daniel Smith, Macarena Faunes, and Bhart-Anjan Bhullar. This alligator embryo is in the early stages of organ development or organogenesis. Fluorescent labeling highlights the nerves (green), muscles (orange), and cell nuclei (blue). At this developmental stage, several crocodylian characteristics are becoming apparent, including a long tail and the massive trigeminal nerve in the head – which makes an alligator’s face more sensitive than a human fingertip. However, it still looks very similar to a bird embryo, which is no coincidence: crocodylians and birds are each other’s closest living relatives. Their common ancestor lived over 250 million years ago and would have looked like a small dinosaur. This research team is comparing alligator and chicken development to identify differences that produce bird-like characteristics. The NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences supports these researchers’ studies of the evolution and development of bird body structures.
By Kevin A. Murach, Charlotte A. Peterson, and John J. McCarthy. In this image culture-grown muscle stem cells from a mouse have fused together to form myotubes, mimicking the formation of muscle fibers in living organisms. Fluorescent labeling reveals the myotubes’ multiple nuclei (blue) and distinct striations (red) – both are characteristic of mature muscle fibers. Some of the myotubes also display green fluorescence, which was introduced into the cells with a virus. The researchers plan to use the same viral delivery system to genetically modify the cells and assess how impairing cell fusion alters myotube growth. The NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and National Institute on Aging support their research into muscle growth, adaptation, and recovery in adults, including how muscle stem cells in modify the surrounding cellular environment to promote these activities.
By Haley O’Brien. Cloven hoofed mammals have a special arterial network inside their skulls that is used to keep their brains cooler than their bodies. Selective brain cooling helps these animals reduce water loss and avoid heat stroke. In this CT scan of an American pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana), a special contrast dye was used to illuminate the skull and arteries. Dr. O’Brien is investigating whether the ability to keep the brain cool has helped these animals survive warming and drying climates. The NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences recently funded the purchase of a x-ray micro-computed tomography (microCT) scanner at the University of Arkansas that will be used by Dr. O’Brien and other researchers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas to promote scientific discovery and foster academic-industry partnerships.
By Vanja Stankic and Rachel K. Miller. Cilia (yellow) are specialized hair-like structures on cells. Some cilia are motile and can beat in coordination, creating a directional fluid flow. This motion is used to propel an egg toward the uterus, circulate cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and clear airway tracts in the respiratory system. Immotile cilia within the kidney are thought act as sensors of fluid flow. Structural and functional defects in cilia are linked to infertility, brain abnormalities, chronic respiratory problems, and kidney abnormalities. This image show skin cells from a frog (Xenopus laevis) embryo, which also have motile cilia and are commonly used as a research model for cilia development, or ciliogenesis. These NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-funded researchers are using this frog model to study the role of ciliogenesis in kidney development.
Olga Zueva,Thomas Heinzeller, Daria Mashanova, and Vladimir Mashanov. Brittle stars and starfish have radial symmetry, with a nerve cord running down the length of each arm. This 3D model shows the nervous system within one arm segment of a brittle star (Amphipholis kochii). The colors indicate the three subdivisions of its nervous system: the ectoneural system (green); the hyponeural system (magenta); and mixed peripheral nerves (blue). This pattern of nerves is repeated in all segments throughout an arm. To create this model, the research team imaged thin sections of a brittle stars arm and used specialized software to assemble and fine-tune the model. Scientists are increasingly using brittle stars and other echinoderms to study limb regeneration, bioluminescence, and other features. Their NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences-supported work expands our fundamental knowledge of how echinoderm nervous systems are organized.
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