This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
Short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata)
Lateral (top) and ventral (bottom) views of stage 19 bat embryos as viewed by reflected light (left) or after alcian blue staining and clearing (right).
photo by Chris Cretekos and Richard Behringer
Developmental biology dictates that only certain morphological patterns are possible in the domains of life as we know it. Things like bilateral symmetry and head/tail patterning are all subject to the intricate balance and blending of biological signals from embryo to adult.
But let’s forget all that for a minute.
What would it take to create a dragon, biologically? You know, wings, extra forelimbs, flight … FIRE. Check out the link above for the deep developmental bio answer.
Time to go mad scientist on a chicken?
(via Mad Art Lab, drawing by Eugene Aurenhaus)
“If you know how to look, our body becomes a time capsule that, when opened, tells of critical moments in the history of our planet and of a distant past in ancient oceans, streams, and forests.
Changes in the ancient atmosphere are reflected in the molecules that allow our cells to cooperate to make bodies. The environment of ancient streams shaped the basic anatomy of our limbs. Our color vision and sense of smell has been molded by life in ancient forests and plains. And the list goes on.
This history is our inheritance, one that affects our lives today and will do so in the future.” - Neil Shubin(From his brilliant book “Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body” which I’d surely recommend if you haven’t read it already)
Cell movement begins with lamellipodia. A thin sheet of actin filaments (light purple) that stretches out to the cell’s periphery, lamellipodia generate pushing forces that drive the cell forward. Microtubules (cyan) can barely penetrate this actin network, but they direct cell motility in other ways, such as controlling cell adhesion and acting as the cell’s internal compass.
Image: A human HaCat keratinocyte responds to epidermal growth factor by rapidly forming a lamellipod around most of its perimeter. The cell was fixed and processed within minutes after EGF addition. F-actin is stained with fluorescently labeled phalloidin (light purple), and microtubules are labeled with an antibody (cyan). DNA dye stains the nucleus dark purple.
‘From Fertilisation to Implantation’
An inside look into early human development! This video explores fertilisation to implantation.
Is cloning an organism the same as cloning a gene?
You’ve heard about cloning animals - sheep, mice, even house pets - in the news. From time to time, you may have also heard about researchers cloning, or identifying, genes that are responsible for various medical conditions or traits.
What is the difference?
Cloning an animal, or any other organism, refers to making an exact genetic copy of that organism. The techniques used to clone organisms are described on this page.
Cloning a gene means isolating an exact copy of a single gene from the entire genome of an organism. Usually this involves copying the DNA sequence of that gene into a smaller, more accessible piece of DNA, such as a plasmid. This makes it easier to study the function of the individual gene in the laboratory.
Have you ever wondered how scientists work with tiny molecules that they can’t see? Here’s your chance to try it yourself! Sort and measure DNA strands by running your own gel electrophoresis experiment.
All the fun of Gel Electrophoresis, with none of the mess!
How genes are transcribed and translated
Xenopus laevis organizer
These twinned Xenopus laevis embryos were generated by grafting the dorsal inductive tissue of the Spemann Organizer into the ventral region of a gastrula-stage host embryo. An antibody stain for the epitope Tor70 (dark brown) reveals both the native and secondary notochords.
Image(s) by Andrea Wills (2007 Woods Hole Embryology Course)
Blastoderm stage Drosophila embryos
Images courtesy Nipam Patel
Top embryo: Hunchback (red), Giant (green), DAPI: nuclei (blue)
Bottom embryo: Paired (red), DAPI: nuclei (blue)