Cross-section of the Developing Zebrafish Heart

There are a multitude of signals that elegantly orchestrate the proper development of the heart. In this image of a 3-day-old zebrafish heart, the signal that is localized to the developing atrio-ventricular valve and smooth muscle is labeled in green using green fluorescent protein (GFP). This particular signal is important for the formation of the cardiac valves, which will allow blood to pass from the … Continue reading Cross-section of the Developing Zebrafish Heart

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Zebrafish Heart – 3 Days Old

Here is the developing zebrafish heart at 3 days post-fertilization. Unlike mammals, which have four chambers, the zebrafish heart consists of only two: a single ventricle (left) and a single atrium (right). Despite the difference in the number of chambers, the heart is the first organ to form in both mammals and zebrafish. Can you guess why? The developing embryo needs nutrients and as its … Continue reading Zebrafish Heart – 3 Days Old


Branched synaptic arbor in fillet

The Drosophila neuromuscular junction is a beautiful and yet powerful model synapse for in vivo studies of development, physiology, cell biology and plasticity. This illustration by Saskia Van Vactor shows a field of ventral longitudinal body wall muscles in red, as if stained with phalloidin to highlight filamentous actin, the main protein building block of muscle. Against this background, several branches of intersegmental nerve extend … Continue reading Branched synaptic arbor in fillet

Figure 1: New snail species- Plekocheilus cecepeus. These specimens were collected in 1869, but only recognized as a new species in 2015 after careful observation in the muesum. Image credit: Dr. Abraham Breure and Dr. Rafael Araujo (3).

What’s hiding in the museum?

by Patty Rohs figures by Anna Maurer New technology is allowing scientists to investigate natural history museum specimens in ways that we never thought were possible. To the public eye, these museums may seem like an unchanging archive of life on earth. But behind the scenes, the very same institutions are centers for cutting-edge research. Curators, who are highly experienced in research and are often … Continue reading What’s hiding in the museum?

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Home is where the healthy reefs are: insights into coral recruitment

Of all the beautiful and varied natural ecosystems on earth, few have inspired awe like coral reefs. And rightly so – these colorful structures found on shallow ocean bottoms in tropical and subtropical regions of the world are not only pretty to look at (Figure 1), but also support an incredible diversity of life and are thus often called “rainforests of the sea” [1]. Some … Continue reading Home is where the healthy reefs are: insights into coral recruitment