Watch on medicalschool.tumblr.com

During an infection, viruses spread from infected to uninfected cells and can be spread cell-to-cell. Here, murine leukemia virus undergoes cell-to-cell transmission via filopodial bridges to physically link the two cells.

Image: Cos-1 cells generating murine leukemia virus (MLV) expressing Gag-YFP (red) were co-cultured with uninfected XC target cells expressing the MLV receptor mCAT-1-CFP (green) and imaged using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. Images were taken approximately every 2 minutes and compiled in a time-lapse movie. Learn more in Sherer et al.(2007) and Jin et al. (2009).

An Unforgettable Feeling

With Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the greatest fear is what will be lost, how accumulating neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain (like those pictured above, courtesy of Thomas Deerinck at the National Center for Microscopy Imaging and Research) will eventually erase one’s recollected life.

But maybe it’s worse (or better?) than that. Researchers at the University of Iowa suggest that persons with AD may feel lingering emotions about past events even when they no longer remember what actually happened.

In a published study, scientists played clips of sad and happy movies to AD patients. The latter no longer remembered ever seeing the films, but still experienced sustained states of sadness and happiness.

“This confirms that the emotional life of an Alzheimer’s patient is alive and well,” said study author Edmarie Guzman-Velez.

The findings have implications for how AD patients should be treated.

“Our findings should empower caregivers by showing them that their actions toward patients really do matter,” Guzmán-Vélez said. “Frequent visits and social interactions, exercise, music, dance, jokes, and serving patients their favorite foods are all simple things that can have a lasting emotional impact on a patient’s quality of life and subjective well-being.”

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Top 5 misconceptions about evolution: A guide to demystify the foundation of modern biology.

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Retinal Fireworks

Retinal ganglion cells transmit signals from the rods and cones in the eye to the brain. The retinal ganglion cells shown here have the extraordinary property that their dendrites all point in a single direction. Remarkably, these neurons respond best to objects moving in the direction that the cells “point.”

In this particular image, a mouse retina is seen with “J” retinal ganglion cells marked by the expression of a fluorescent protein. Of course, in real eyes it’s not that simple - the millions of other neurons that these are entangled with are not marked, and thus appear invisible. The image was obtained with a confocal scanning microscope, and pseudocoloured.

Part of the Cell Picture Show’s amazing Brainbow series.

A Bacterium on a Diatom on an Amphipod

I see a lot of science stuff, and it’s pretty hard to get me to say “wow” … Just kidding, I say it all the time!

Definitely said it when I saw this brain-melting illustration of the scale differences between the domains of life. In one electron microscope picture!! Just remember, there’s about a trillion of those little bacteria on and in you all the time, just that tiny.

If you like this, you’ll definitely like this interactive “scale of the universe” tool.

(tip o’ the electron microscope to my Twitter friends who shared this)

Butterfly scales | Jo Angell Design

Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of scales from the wing of a peacock butterfly, Inachis io. These scales have an intricate design and overlap like the tiles on the roof of a building. They allow heat and light to enter, and also insulate the insect. They may also be highly coloured. The metallic appearance of the scales is due to ridges along their length. 

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