Most biological cells are not very special to see unless you pass some fluorescent compounds through them. On top of that, these brain cells have an unusual shape.
These star-shaped cells – called astrocytes – were photographed by Arpan Dey, PhD student at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. Astrocytes are support cells (glial cells) in the central nervous system. They perform a variety of functions, including controlling other cells. Dey studies how protein plaques form in the brain, which astrocytes may contribute to. Thanks to an antibody specific to astrocytes with a fluorescent tag attached, he was able to see through neurons and other cells and got this beautiful picture, published first in the Chemistry in Pictures category on the Chemical & Engineering News website.
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