Coloured Tissues

Recent colour-enhanced images used by research workers in cell biology could easily be taken for serious works of art. Here, the first of three examples is an objective  representation of a fruit-fly’s nervous system.

_81241899_624-b0009902  The image is by Albert Cardona.    He used transmission electron micrographs to make a digital colour-coded map of the area, showing cells called neurones that carry messages and responses through an organism. It was photograph was taken by Cardona at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Virginia, US.


The next image is a colour-coded map of part of a mouse kidney as it breaks down food to make energy. The colours show chemical reactions. The image was a team effort – created by five people who have worked across the United States – Jefferson R Brown, Robert E Marc, Bryan W Jones, Glen Prusky and Nazia Alam.

The blue tree-like branches, below, spread out from a Purkinje cell, or neuron, found in the brain of a rat.


It is a scanning electron micrograph created by Prof M Hausser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth – based at UCL in London.