Everyone’s bowels are different. One person’s gut reacts violently to certain foods or medications, while another’s doesn’t suffer at all.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are trying to figure out why this is by mapping gene expression in human intestines at the cellular level. In this photo, they have fluorescently labelled two different types of protein in the mucus layer of the colon: MUC2 in green and MUC5B in red. This shows that the mucus composition and thus the gene expression differs between the bottom and top of the intestine crypts.

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Beeld: Scott Magness Lab, UNC School of Medicine