Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's day for Biologists

Being a scientist can be lonely, with little time for love - outside the love of science! To prove that we are still capable of emotion (and pattern recognition) here's a few pictures I found via a quick google search. In the true spirit of science I'll also tell you what they really are to dispel any undue sentimentality,

This one is taken from Helen Jacques and is a picture by Mathieu-Benoit Voisin and Doris Proebstl from London. "The researchers are studying how white blood cells move from the blood into into damaged tissue to cause inflammation; for example, after a heart attack. They were using using fluorescent pigments to stain two key players in this inflammatory process – pericyte cells from the blood vessel wall (stained red and blue) and collagen (green) – when looking through the microscope they noticed that the cells had arranged themselves into a heart shape"

This one is cheating a little but it's animated. You have to go to the web page to see it though.

This one is sweet...

That's the effect of tuberculosis in the lung of an infected mouse.

I guess the take home message is that scientists get bored when spending hours on a microscope and that horrible diseases can at least look romantic while they are infecting or killing you.

And let's not forget what the real thing looks like.

 Happy Valentine's day!

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