Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health




image of the month

Babraham Institute Image of the Month

Scientists at the Babraham Institute frequently use microscopes as tools in their research, as it allows them to visualise cells that they are studying.  To highlight the breadth and beauty of the science at the Institute every month an image is selected as ‘image of the month’.

This month’s winner was Joana Guedes a first year PhD student in Marc Veldhoen’s lab, who is studying parasite and host cell interactions, particularly focussing on the infection of Eimeria species.  Joana’s image shows a ‘mini-gut’, a very tiny 3D model which resembles the intestine. 

The intestinal wall (epithelium) is responsible for efficient food digestion and nutrient absorption.  Additionally, it is also important as a barrier against pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.  Joana used different fluorescent dyes to visualise different elements; the blue stain (called DAPI) shows nuceli of intestinal cells, the red stain (Phalloidin) shows F-actin, a protein that helps your gut muscles contract, and the green stain (lysozyme C) indicates the presence of Paneth cells, which secrete anti-microbial compounds when exposed to bacteria or other pathogens.  

For more information on the work carried out in Marc Veldhoen’s lab see here. For her insightful image Joana was awarded a £20 Amazon voucher.


26 February, 2014