If you look closely at this zebrafish embryo, you will notice bright spots that look like stars covering the entire body. The nuclei of each cell in this embryo has been labeled with a fluorescent protein so when you look at the nuclei under a microscope, they are resplendent. By labeling each individual nuclei, we can visualize changes occurring in each cell throughout development of the zebrafish. Additionally, this zebrafish is a mutant for the gene reptin, which results in curvature of its tail, giving the embryo’s developing tail the appearance of a crescent moon.
Contributed by Michka Sharpe, a fifth year graduate student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School, and our Featured Artist for August 2017.