Babraham Institute 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.  

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Notes to Editors:
About the Babraham Institute:
The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, health and well-being and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.