digital microscopy

Surface of a mouse retina

It looks like a delicate floral structure. In fact it is the surface of a mouse retina. Produced by combining more than 400 images captured through a technique known as confocal microscopy, this digital reconstruction shows the retina’s blood vessels in blue while the red and green highlight cells known as astrocytes. These star-shaped cells are involved in myriad crucial processes that support and maintain neurons. Scientists hope that by understanding what astrocytes are up to as the retina deteriorates, they might find new ways to treat vision loss.

Photograph: Gabriel Luna/Neuroscience Research Institute/University of California/2017 Wellcome Image Awards

The seminiferous tubules (pseudocolored blue in the image to the left) are part of the male reproductive system and are the site of sperm production and development. The majority of the volume of the testis comprises tightly compacted seminiferous tubules, and the total collective length of these tubules in humans can range from 300 to 700 meters.

Image: Spermatids (pink) in seminiferous tubules of mouse testis. Digitally pseudocolored scanning electron microscopy.