langerhans cells

This transmission electron micrograph shows a Langerhans cell (purple) exiting an isolated epithelium to disseminate the HIV-1 infection. A long cytoplasmic extension of the Langerhans cell remains anchored between basal keratinocytes and contains a large vacuole with one HIV-1BaL virion (red) inside. Epithelial sheets were inoculated with the virus by centrifugation (i.e., spinoculation) for 2 hours and then fixed in Karnovsky’s fixative for electron microscopy.

Paul Langerhans

German biologist and physician known mostly for his discovery of the islets of Langerhans on the pancreas in 1869, which are the cells that produce insulin (insulin is what allows you to eat sugars). He also discovered or explained the purpose of some type of skin cell that are now called Langerhans cell, but I couldn’t tell you what they do. He lived a fairly uneventful life after that and died at the young age of 40, five days from his 41st birthday.

I must say, Paul Langerhans certainly did not get the memo that scientists back then were supposed to be creepy looking. He is fine. I don’t even know how to describe it. He is an attractive lad.