Advances in imaging techniques mean we can observe biological systems and structures in ever-increasing detail, revealing both new answers to scientific questions and an often startling beauty. Showcasing some of most stunning and surprising pictures created by researchers and photographers across the globe, the recent Wellcome Images competition celebrates this interplay between art and science. The intricate blue fronds pictured recall the delicate strands of a soft coral, yet this image couldn’t be further removed from the deep sea – it represents a single Purkinje cell, a strong>neuron photographed using scanning electron microscopy in the brain of a rat. Some of the largest neurons in the brain, Purkinje cells are famous for their elaborate tree-like network of small projections, known as dendrites, allowing them to receive signals from many other neurons. Their role in integrating information makes Purkinje cells critical in many processes, including learning to control sequences of movements.
Written by Emmanuelle Briolat
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.