Forget the gym; scientists are the real bodybuilders. Studying fruit fly ovaries like these is helping researchers understand how cells grow together to form tissues and organs. Understanding how organs develop may in the future pave the way to regenerate - or even grow new - organs in patients. Using this technology, treatments for conditions like heart disease, kidney failure or liver disease could be revolutionised. The delicate inflorescence of fruit fly ovaries shown here is shaped by a combination of actin and myosin – two proteins that usually make up muscle fibres. Both proteins form a fibrous network, which sculpts the tissue as it grows by means of oscillating contractions. This helps to build the body’s organs brick-by-brick, cell-by-cell.
Written by Andrew Purcell
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences 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.