cytofocus
ask
submit
botany
pathology
histology
microbiology
zoology
diatoms
Archive
a microscopy blog

turns out your brain is lined by gumballs…er…ependymal cells
ependyma is one of the four types of neuroglia in the central nervous system, constituting an epithelium-like layer that lines the ventricles and central canal of the spinal cord
it also produces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
note that in the fetus (here), ependymal cells are not ciliated
colored SEM, 1000x
credit: Steve Schmeissner

turns out your brain is lined by gumballs…er…ependymal cells

ependyma is one of the four types of neuroglia in the central nervous system, constituting an epithelium-like layer that lines the ventricles and central canal of the spinal cord

it also produces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

note that in the fetus (here), ependymal cells are not ciliated

colored SEM, 1000x

credit: Steve Schmeissner


Lateral view of a late-stage mouse embryo, stained for bone (Alizarin Red) and cartilage (Alcian Blue).

Lateral view of a late-stage mouse embryo, stained for bone (Alizarin Red) and cartilage (Alcian Blue).

Selections from Slate’s fantastic gallery of Incredible Photos of Tiny Animal Partsa collection of some of best animal entries to the Nikon Small World competition last year.


Neuralstem Cell Transplant for Post-Stroke Symptom
Neuralstem Inc has a peer-reviewed paper published talking about the improvements of rat brain after ischemic-stroke with the use of NSI566 neural stemcells. 

Neuralstem is currently conducting a Phase II NSI-566 clinical trial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in three U.S. sites, as well as a Phase I/II to treat post-stroke motor deficit in China, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Neuralstem China. The company also has been approved by the FDA to commence a trial with the same cells to treat chronic spinal cord injury.

This is only one of the great research projects going on in the biotech hub Rockville Maryland.. where I will be for the next year!I can’t wait.

Neuralstem Cell Transplant for Post-Stroke Symptom

Neuralstem Inc has a peer-reviewed paper published talking about the improvements of rat brain after ischemic-stroke with the use of NSI566 neural stemcells. 

Neuralstem is currently conducting a Phase II NSI-566 clinical trial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in three U.S. sites, as well as a Phase I/II to treat post-stroke motor deficit in China, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Neuralstem China. The company also has been approved by the FDA to commence a trial with the same cells to treat chronic spinal cord injury.

This is only one of the great research projects going on in the biotech hub Rockville Maryland.. where I will be for the next year!

I can’t wait.


Keratinized and Immortalized
Image SK2802 (HaCaT Culture Cells)  Immunofluorescence light micrograph of HaCaT daughter cells that have resulted from one cell dividing into two (mitosis). The nuclei, which contain the cell’s genetic information, are red. The yellow strands are microtubules, which are involved in cell division. HaCaT cells are human skin cells (keratinocytes) that have been transformed (mutated) to be immortal. They have unlimited growth potential, but unlike other immortal cell lines they are not tumorigenic, meaning non-tumor forming. They grow in an orderly fashion and retain all the structural and functional features of human skin. HaCaT cells are grown in the laboratory and are used in research, including wound healing research. Magnification: x980 when printed 10cm wide.
© Dr. Torsten Wittmann / Science Source

Keratinized and Immortalized

Image SK2802 (HaCaT Culture Cells)  Immunofluorescence light micrograph of HaCaT daughter cells that have resulted from one cell dividing into two (mitosis). The nuclei, which contain the cell’s genetic information, are red. The yellow strands are microtubules, which are involved in cell division. HaCaT cells are human skin cells (keratinocytes) that have been transformed (mutated) to be immortal. They have unlimited growth potential, but unlike other immortal cell lines they are not tumorigenic, meaning non-tumor forming. They grow in an orderly fashion and retain all the structural and functional features of human skin. HaCaT cells are grown in the laboratory and are used in research, including wound healing research. Magnification: x980 when printed 10cm wide.

© Dr. Torsten Wittmann / Science Source


Sunflower pollen | ©Louisa Howard-FEI Company
Pollen of the Common Sunflower,  Helianthus annuus (Asterales - Asteraceae).
Magnification: 1410x

Sunflower pollen | ©Louisa Howard-FEI Company

Pollen of the Common Sunflower,  Helianthus annuus (Asterales - Asteraceae).

Magnification: 1410x


Cell division is an intricate chemical dance that is part individual, part community-driven.
From the TED-Ed Lesson How do cancer cells behave differently from healthy ones? - George Zaidan

Cell division is an intricate chemical dance that is part individual, part community-driven.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How do cancer cells behave differently from healthy ones? - George Zaidan


Researchers Show How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons
First report in preclincal study showing extended wakefulness can result in neuronal injury.
Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive performance. For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Continue Reading

Researchers Show How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons

First report in preclincal study showing extended wakefulness can result in neuronal injury.

Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive performance. For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Continue Reading


Common cat parasite linked to personality changes in humansA third of the world’s population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii and scientists find that the parasite can modify the brain.

Common cat parasite linked to personality changes in humans
A third of the world’s population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii and scientists find that the parasite can modify the brain.

ucsdhealthsciences:

Gulf War Illness Not in Veterans’ Heads, But in Their Mitochondria
Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated for the first time that veterans of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War who suffer from “Gulf War illness” have impaired function of mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of cells.
The findings, published in the March 27, 2014 issue of PLOS ONE, could help lead to new treatments benefitting affected individuals – and to new ways of protecting servicepersons (and civilians) from similar problems in the future, said principal investigator Beatrice A. Golomb MD, PhD, professor of medicine.
Golomb, with associate Hayley Koslik and Gavin Hamilton, PhD, a research scientist and magnetic resonance physicist, used the imaging technology to compare Gulf War veterans with diagnosed Gulf War illness to healthy controls. Cases were matched by age, sex and ethnicity.
The technique used – 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy or 31P-MRS – reveals amounts of phosphorus-containing compounds in cells. Such compounds are important for cell energy production, in particular phosphocreatine or PCr, which declines in muscle cells during exercise. PCr recovery takes longer when mitochondrial function is impaired, and delayed recovery is recognized as a robust marker of mitochondrial dysfunction.
Affected Gulf War veterans displayed significantly delayed PCr recovery after an exercise challenge. In fact, said Golomb, there was almost no overlap in the recovery times of Gulf War illness veterans compared to controls: All but one control participant had a recovery time-constant clustered under 31 seconds. In contrast, all but one Gulf Illness veteran had a recovery time-constant exceeding 35 seconds, with times ranging as high as 70 seconds.
There were 14 participants in the study: seven Gulf War illness cases and seven matching controls. Golomb notes that the use of 1:1 matching markedly improves statistical “power,” allowing a smaller sample size. The separation between the two groups was “visibly striking, and the large average difference was statistically significant,” she said.
Golomb noted that impaired mitochondrial function accounts for numerous features of Gulf War illness, including symptoms that have been viewed as perplexing or paradoxical.
“The classic presentation for mitochondrial illness involves multiple symptoms spanning many domains, similar to what we see in Gulf War illness. These classically include fatigue, cognitive and other brain-related challenges, muscle problems and exercise intolerance, with neurological and gastrointestinal problems also common.”
There are other similarities between patients with mitochondrial dysfunction and those suffering from Gulf War illness: Additional symptoms appear in smaller subsets of patients; varying patterns of symptoms and severity among individuals; different latency periods across symptoms, or times when symptoms first appear; routine blood tests that appear normal.
“Some have sought to ascribe Gulf War illness to stress,” said Golomb, “but stress has proven not to be an independent predictor of the condition. On the other hand, Gulf veterans are known to have been widely exposed to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, a chemical class found in organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, nerve gas and nerve gas pre-treatment pills given to troops.
“These inhibitors have known mitochondrial toxicity and generally show the strongest and most consistent relationship to predicting Gulf War illness. Mitochondrial problems account for which exposures relate to Gulf War illness, which symptoms predominate, how Gulf War illness symptoms manifest themselves, what objective tests have been altered, and why routine blood tests have not been useful.”
Pictured: mitochondria, false colored.

ucsdhealthsciences:

Gulf War Illness Not in Veterans’ Heads, But in Their Mitochondria

Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated for the first time that veterans of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War who suffer from “Gulf War illness” have impaired function of mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of cells.

The findings, published in the March 27, 2014 issue of PLOS ONE, could help lead to new treatments benefitting affected individuals – and to new ways of protecting servicepersons (and civilians) from similar problems in the future, said principal investigator Beatrice A. Golomb MD, PhD, professor of medicine.

Golomb, with associate Hayley Koslik and Gavin Hamilton, PhD, a research scientist and magnetic resonance physicist, used the imaging technology to compare Gulf War veterans with diagnosed Gulf War illness to healthy controls. Cases were matched by age, sex and ethnicity.

The technique used – 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy or 31P-MRS – reveals amounts of phosphorus-containing compounds in cells. Such compounds are important for cell energy production, in particular phosphocreatine or PCr, which declines in muscle cells during exercise. PCr recovery takes longer when mitochondrial function is impaired, and delayed recovery is recognized as a robust marker of mitochondrial dysfunction.

Affected Gulf War veterans displayed significantly delayed PCr recovery after an exercise challenge. In fact, said Golomb, there was almost no overlap in the recovery times of Gulf War illness veterans compared to controls: All but one control participant had a recovery time-constant clustered under 31 seconds. In contrast, all but one Gulf Illness veteran had a recovery time-constant exceeding 35 seconds, with times ranging as high as 70 seconds.

There were 14 participants in the study: seven Gulf War illness cases and seven matching controls. Golomb notes that the use of 1:1 matching markedly improves statistical “power,” allowing a smaller sample size. The separation between the two groups was “visibly striking, and the large average difference was statistically significant,” she said.

Golomb noted that impaired mitochondrial function accounts for numerous features of Gulf War illness, including symptoms that have been viewed as perplexing or paradoxical.

“The classic presentation for mitochondrial illness involves multiple symptoms spanning many domains, similar to what we see in Gulf War illness. These classically include fatigue, cognitive and other brain-related challenges, muscle problems and exercise intolerance, with neurological and gastrointestinal problems also common.”

There are other similarities between patients with mitochondrial dysfunction and those suffering from Gulf War illness: Additional symptoms appear in smaller subsets of patients; varying patterns of symptoms and severity among individuals; different latency periods across symptoms, or times when symptoms first appear; routine blood tests that appear normal.

“Some have sought to ascribe Gulf War illness to stress,” said Golomb, “but stress has proven not to be an independent predictor of the condition. On the other hand, Gulf veterans are known to have been widely exposed to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, a chemical class found in organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, nerve gas and nerve gas pre-treatment pills given to troops.

“These inhibitors have known mitochondrial toxicity and generally show the strongest and most consistent relationship to predicting Gulf War illness. Mitochondrial problems account for which exposures relate to Gulf War illness, which symptoms predominate, how Gulf War illness symptoms manifest themselves, what objective tests have been altered, and why routine blood tests have not been useful.”

Pictured: mitochondria, false colored.