F A S C I N A T I N G Development involves mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels to arrive at the complex anatomical and physiological structure of an organism. The study of development can shed light into the processes of many diseases that afflict people worldwide.
Reblogged from biocanvas  197 notes
biocanvas:

Vascular smooth muscle cells
Our hearts pump some 50 million gallons of blood in our lifetime, and our arteries take a beating because of it. Arteries have the critical task of withstanding the high blood pressure that comes with each heart stroke. To do this, arteries are lined with thick vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) that contract and relax to control blood pressure and secrete proteins to cushion against each and every heartbeat. In this image, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into VSMCs as shown by smooth muscle-specific markers in red and green. Creating VSMCs will be useful to study vascular abnormalities found in several diseases, including muscular dystrophy.
Image by Leslie Caron.

biocanvas:

Vascular smooth muscle cells

Our hearts pump some 50 million gallons of blood in our lifetime, and our arteries take a beating because of it. Arteries have the critical task of withstanding the high blood pressure that comes with each heart stroke. To do this, arteries are lined with thick vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) that contract and relax to control blood pressure and secrete proteins to cushion against each and every heartbeat. In this image, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into VSMCs as shown by smooth muscle-specific markers in red and green. Creating VSMCs will be useful to study vascular abnormalities found in several diseases, including muscular dystrophy.

Image by Leslie Caron.

Reblogged from sciencesourceimages  80 notes

sciencesourceimages:

I’ve Got Rocks In My Head…

…and so do all of you. The image at the top is a colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of crystals of calcium carbonate on the surface of an otolith. They are the “balancing stones” of the inner ear and are found in our Acoustic Macula.

See more images of the Acoustic Macula

The acoustic macula is responsible for our static equilibrium (position of the head) and participates in dynamic equilibrium (recognition of the linear accelerations). Located at the level of the inner ear, the macula is composed of hair cells (in orange), constituting the sensorial receptors, and of supporting cells (in pink). Each hair cell possesses between 40 to 70 stereocilia and a single kinocilium.

See SEMs of Inner Ear Hair Cells

The supporting cells secrete a gelatinous substance forming the otolithic membrane, in which embed the stereocilia and kinocilia. This membrane is covered with a layer of those calcium carbonate crystals (shown at top). Each hair cell forms a synapse with a sensitive neuron (in yellow) and a motor neuron (in green) of the vestibular branch of the auditory nerve.

See more images of the Inner Ear

During a sharp acceleration leading the head forward (during the ascension in the roller coaster, for example), the inertia causes a sliding movement backwards of the otolithic membrane and the otoliths, that move the stereocilia and kinocilia with them. This leads to a stimulation of the vestibular nerve, enabling the recognition of the movement. 

What would a trip to an amusement park be without your inner ear?!

All images © Science Source 

Weblike sheath covering developing egg chambers in a giant grasshopper
Kevin Edwards, Johny Shajahan and Doug Whitman, Illinois State University
The lubber grasshopper, found throughout the southern United States, is frequently used in biology classes to teach students about the respiratory system of insects. Unlike mammals, which have red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, insects have breathing tubes that carry air through their exoskeleton directly to where it’s needed. This image shows the breathing tubes embedded in the weblike sheath cells that cover developing egg chambers.
Found on National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Weblike sheath covering developing egg chambers in a giant grasshopper

Kevin Edwards, Johny Shajahan and Doug Whitman, Illinois State University

The lubber grasshopper, found throughout the southern United States, is frequently used in biology classes to teach students about the respiratory system of insects. Unlike mammals, which have red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, insects have breathing tubes that carry air through their exoskeleton directly to where it’s needed. This image shows the breathing tubes embedded in the weblike sheath cells that cover developing egg chambers.

Found on National Institute of General Medical Sciences

‘Shape-shifting’ material could help reconstruct faces
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 13, 2014 — Injuries, birth defects (such as cleft palates) or surgery to remove a tumor can create gaps in bone that are too large to heal naturally. And when they occur in the head, face or jaw, these bone defects can dramatically alter a person’s appearance. Researchers will report today that they have developed a “self-fitting” material that expands with warm salt water to precisely fill bone defects, and also acts as a scaffold for new bone growth.
Read More: American Chemical Society

‘Shape-shifting’ material could help reconstruct faces

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 13, 2014 — Injuries, birth defects (such as cleft palates) or surgery to remove a tumor can create gaps in bone that are too large to heal naturally. And when they occur in the head, face or jaw, these bone defects can dramatically alter a person’s appearance. Researchers will report today that they have developed a “self-fitting” material that expands with warm salt water to precisely fill bone defects, and also acts as a scaffold for new bone growth.

Read More: American Chemical Society

Christmas in August
Nikon winner Donna Stolz is ready for Christmas — on a microscopic level, at least. This is a collage of mammalian cells, stained to reveal various proteins and organelles and then assembled into a wreath. 
Found on livescience.

Christmas in August

Nikon winner Donna Stolz is ready for Christmas — on a microscopic level, at least. This is a collage of mammalian cells, stained to reveal various proteins and organelles and then assembled into a wreath. 

Found on livescience.