I have been deeply interested in taking pictures which are artistic and also convey a scientific message amenable to common consumption. Below are some of the work from such adventures:
Fruit Fly Factories: Each ovary of the female fruit fly houses multiple ovarioles or ‘assembly lines’ in which individual egg chambers develop into fully formed fly eggs. Each egg chamber consists of 16 large germline cells (one of which is the future egg cell), surrounded by a thin sheet of smaller cells. In this picture, cross-sections of ten ovarioles from different female fruit flies are arranged with stem cells and early stage egg chambers at the center, and the more mature chambers at the periphery. The nucleus of each cell is stained yellow/orange. The cell membranes are stained blue.
The flying football: The early fruit fly embryo undergoes rapid morphogenetic and chemical changes driven by the dynamic interplay of embryonic genes. One such gene, Orthodenticle, is essential for the development and patterning of the head, eyes and central nervous system of the fruit fly. In this confocal image, the embryo is ~4 hours old, and stained for nuclei (brown) and gene Orthodenticle (white). The embryonic pattern mimics white stripes marked on an American football used in the national football league (NFL).
Paint by light: During embryogenesis, intricate signaling patterns specify cellular states and subsequently tissues in a developing animal. Here, in an optogenetic fly embryo, light is used to paint artificial signaling patterns using the embryo as a canvas. Blue light recruits signaling protein SOS to the plasma membrane giving rise to visible words on the embryos. This recruitment turns on the downstream Ras/ERK pathway, which regulates the transcription of many genes and program cell fates.
Breath of life: Just before hatching the larva takes its first “breath” as its trachea fills with air. Their autofluorescent chitin lined walls contrast them with the surrounding tissue as seen in this image. The characteristic branching structure is patterned and controlled during embryogenesis by the localization of specific signals that are thought to direct cell migration.
SETDB1 the (non)protector: [Taken from JCB] Cancer cells can rewire genetic and epigenetic regulatory networks to promote cell proliferation and evade the immune system. Using a focused CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screen, Cuellar and colleagues identified a novel role for the SETDB1 histone methyltransferase in regulating the antiviral response in AML cells via the suppression of transposable elements.