An unbelievable view of biological research has won the Alzheimer’s Society’s new competition, with an image by Charlie Arber that presents several “blue” stem cells because they start to become “green” brain cell
By Gege Li
THESE astonishing images show the unexpected beauty of research into dementia, a debilitating condition that affects around 57 million people globally. They’re entrants in Spotlight on Dementia, a contest organised by the Alzheimers Society, UK.
The goal is to challenge researchers to showcase their are they explore from the impact of young-onset dementia to the potential involvement of the brains disease fighting capability in the condition.
The winning picture (above) was taken by Charlie Arber, based at University College London (UCL). His Bed of Rosettes shows several blue stem cells, called a neural rosette, because they start turning out to be green brain cells. Growing brain cells is essential for research into dementia.
The image above by Zeinab Abdi, also at UCL, shows donated microglia cells from the person with Alzheimers. Microglia, a kind of immune cell, help to keep brains healthy, however they can also be mixed up in first stages of the condition.
In the centre can be an artistic commentary by Rachel Allen at the University of the West of Scotland on what dementia in younger people can result in them being frozen out of these careers.
Last up can be an entry by Kirsten Williamson at the University of Southampton, UK, emphasising the resemblance of tree branches and a network of tau proteins, which malfunction in Alzheimers disease. This is a reminder, she says, of the wonder of neuroscience.