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Bands of cellulose in xylem cells of Arabidopsis thaliana
Xylem cells are like drinking straws for plants. Located deep within a plant’s stem, xylem draws water up from the earth and transports it to the rest of the plant. But just like how drinking straws can be bent and clogged, so too can xylem cells. Plants circumvent this problem by scaffolding xylem with thick deposits of cellulose, a tough fibrous material. This genetically engineered plant shows bands of cellulose in xylem cells, underscoring how the crisscross pattern of cellulose supports xylem integrity and prevents its collapse.
Dr. Fernan Federici, David Benjamin, and Jim Haseloff, University of Cambridge.

Bands of cellulose in xylem cells of Arabidopsis thaliana

Xylem cells are like drinking straws for plants. Located deep within a plant’s stem, xylem draws water up from the earth and transports it to the rest of the plant. But just like how drinking straws can be bent and clogged, so too can xylem cells. Plants circumvent this problem by scaffolding xylem with thick deposits of cellulose, a tough fibrous material. This genetically engineered plant shows bands of cellulose in xylem cells, underscoring how the crisscross pattern of cellulose supports xylem integrity and prevents its collapse.

Dr. Fernan Federici, David Benjamin, and Jim Haseloff, University of Cambridge.

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This is a user submitted image!
Fluorescently glowing rat hearts
While our hearts may seem fragile at times, they are more resilient than you think. When the going gets tough, hearts protect themselves from damage through a phenomenon known as ischemic preconditioning. Short, subsequent episodes of reduced blood flow to the heart cause the heart to safeguard itself from future harm. Think like fire drills: The more you practice them, the faster and more efficiently you can get out of harms way. Ischemic preconditioning is so effective that dog hearts going through these “fire drills” had a 75% reduction in tissue damage compared to unprepared hearts. Understanding how ischemic preconditioning occurs will help scientists develop therapies for at-risk patients.
Image by Dr. Miguel Mano, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Chile.

Fluorescently glowing rat hearts

While our hearts may seem fragile at times, they are more resilient than you think. When the going gets tough, hearts protect themselves from damage through a phenomenon known as ischemic preconditioning. Short, subsequent episodes of reduced blood flow to the heart cause the heart to safeguard itself from future harm. Think like fire drills: The more you practice them, the faster and more efficiently you can get out of harms way. Ischemic preconditioning is so effective that dog hearts going through these “fire drills” had a 75% reduction in tissue damage compared to unprepared hearts. Understanding how ischemic preconditioning occurs will help scientists develop therapies for at-risk patients.

Image by Dr. Miguel Mano, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Chile.

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Brain cancer stem cells from a brain tumor
Normal stem cells are characterized by their ability to divide indefinitely and generate all of the specialized cell types that make up their host tissue. Cancer stem cells are remarkably similar but possess a key difference: they generate cells that give rise to tumors. Conventional chemotherapy may fail to eliminate cancer stem cells from a tumor, so while the tumor initially shrinks in size, it could eventually grow back and cause an aggressive relapse. Understanding the molecules that distinguish cancer stem cells from other cells will arm researchers with the knowledge to generate targeted therapies against cancer stem cells.
Image by Dr. Biplab Dasgupta, Jane Anderson, Shabnam Pooya, Mariko DeWire, and Lili Miles, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Brain cancer stem cells from a brain tumor

Normal stem cells are characterized by their ability to divide indefinitely and generate all of the specialized cell types that make up their host tissue. Cancer stem cells are remarkably similar but possess a key difference: they generate cells that give rise to tumors. Conventional chemotherapy may fail to eliminate cancer stem cells from a tumor, so while the tumor initially shrinks in size, it could eventually grow back and cause an aggressive relapse. Understanding the molecules that distinguish cancer stem cells from other cells will arm researchers with the knowledge to generate targeted therapies against cancer stem cells.

Image by Dr. Biplab Dasgupta, Jane Anderson, Shabnam Pooya, Mariko DeWire, and Lili Miles, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Sticky glands from a Cape sundew
Drosera capensis, or the Cape sundew, is a carnivorous plant covered with sticky tentacles. Insects become trapped in the sap-covered tentacles and activate the plant’s touch response, called thigmotropism. Within thirty minutes, the sundew rolls its leaves towards its center, ensnaring and enveloping its prey in digestive juices.
Image by José R. Almodóvar, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

Sticky glands from a Cape sundew

Drosera capensis, or the Cape sundew, is a carnivorous plant covered with sticky tentacles. Insects become trapped in the sap-covered tentacles and activate the plant’s touch response, called thigmotropism. Within thirty minutes, the sundew rolls its leaves towards its center, ensnaring and enveloping its prey in digestive juices.

Image by José R. Almodóvar, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

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Adult mouse foot
During development, limbs begin as tiny buds at defined points along the embryo. Soon after a bud emerges, a distinct zone of cells arises called the apical ectodermal ridge (ARE), located where the tips of your fingers are as an adult. The ARE ensures the continuous, outward growth of the limb and helps organize the sculpting process for digits. Failure to maintain the ARE can result in physical deformities, such as polydactyly (multiple digits) and ectrodactyly (cleft hand).
Image by Dr. Andrew Woolley and Kevin Otto, Purdue University, Adelaide, Australia.

Adult mouse foot

During development, limbs begin as tiny buds at defined points along the embryo. Soon after a bud emerges, a distinct zone of cells arises called the apical ectodermal ridge (ARE), located where the tips of your fingers are as an adult. The ARE ensures the continuous, outward growth of the limb and helps organize the sculpting process for digits. Failure to maintain the ARE can result in physical deformities, such as polydactyly (multiple digits) and ectrodactyly (cleft hand).

Image by Dr. Andrew Woolley and Kevin Otto, Purdue University, Adelaide, Australia.

191 notes