Cool Image: Inside a Biofilm Build-up

A growing Vibrio cholerae biofilm. Each slightly curved comma shape represents an individual bacterium from assembled confocal microscopy images. Different colors show each bacterium’s position in the biofilm in relation to the surface on which the film is growing. Credit: Jing Yan, Ph.D., and Bonnie Bassler, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. …

Cool Image: Adding Color to the Gray World of Electron Microscopy

Color electron micrograph of an endosome, a cell organelle. Credit: Ranjan Ramachandra, UCSD As his Christmas gift to himself each year, the late biochemist Roger Tsien treated himself to two weeks of uninterrupted research in his lab. This image is a product of those annual sojourns. While it may look like a pine wreath dotted …

Cool Images: An Independence Day-Inspired Collection

In case you missed the fireworks this weekend, we’ve put together a collection of firework-like images from basic research studies. Viral Electricity This patriotic Koosh ball is an adeno-associated virus. Most people will come into contact with the virus at some point in their lives, and they’ll probably never know it. Even though it doesn’t …

Cool Image: A Circadian Circuit

This image, taken with a confocal microscope, shows how time-of-day information flows through the fruit fly brain. Clock neurons (stained in blue) communicate with leucokinin (LK) neurons (stained in red at the top left, top right and bottom middle), which, in turn, signal to leucokinin receptor (LK-R) neurons (stained in green). This circuit helps regulate …

Cool Images: A Holiday-Themed Collection

Here are some images from our gallery that remind us of the winter holidays—and showcase important findings and innovations in biomedical research. Ribbons and Wreaths This wreath represents the molecular structure of a protein, Cas4, which is part of a system, known as CRISPR, that bacteria use to protect themselves against viral invaders. The green …

Cool Image: Tracing Proteins in Action

These bright, amorphous loops represent a never-before-seen glimpse at how proteins that play a key role in cell duplication are themselves duplicated. Credit: Sue Jaspersen, Zulin Yu and Jay Unruh, Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Looking like necklaces stacked on a dresser, these bright, amorphous loops show the outlines of yeast proteins that make up …

Cool Images: A Halloween-Inspired Cell Collection

As Halloween approaches, we turned up some spectral images from our gallery. The collection below highlights some spooky-sounding—but really important—biological topics that researchers are actively investigating to spur advances in medicine. Cell Skeleton The cell skeleton, or cytoskeleton, is the framework that gives a cell its shape, helps it move and keeps its contents organized …

Cool Image: Snap-Together Laboratory

Modular microfluidics system. Credit: University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. Like snapping Lego blocks together to build a fanciful space station, scientists have developed a new way to assemble a microfluidics system, a sophisticated laboratory tool for manipulating small volumes of fluids. Microfluidics systems are used by scientists to perform tasks as diverse …