jueves, 27 de marzo de 2014

2014 Koch Institute Image Award Winners

Last fall, we featured The Koch Institute Image Award galleries in several Cell Picture Shows. This Show furthers the collaboration, as we showcase this year’s winning submissions. Both the Koch Institute Public Galleries and the Cell Picture Show share a similar ethos: recognition and dissemination of the extraordinary imagery produced through life science research. On March 4, 2014, these winning images were unveiled at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, MA. 

We congratulate the 2014 Image Award Winners and are excited to continue to the collaboration between MIT and Cell Press. This collection of stunning images offers a window into the fascinating worlds opened to us by microscopy and other biomedical imaging techniques.

Biopolymer in Bloom
Julio D’Arcy, Erik Dreaden, and Paula Hammond
Hammond Laboratory
MIT Koch Institute
A New Environment for Studying Cell Growth. Measuring cancer cells’ real-time response to external influences can be challenging. Here, engineers have created biocompatible plastic structures onto which cells can adhere and develop as they would inside the body. The electrically conductive nature of the scaffolds allows researchers to measure the properties of the growing cells. By changing the environment or introducing new substances into the system, researchers can figure out which factors promote or discourage cell growth.
Image: This image, taken with a scanning electron microscope, shows the micro- and nano-scale structures of this device

The More the Messier
Kristin Knouse
Amon Laboratory
MIT Koch Institute

Understanding Complicated Cell Division. The mitotic spindle is an array of tracks that partitions chromosomes during cell division. Most normal cells form bipolar spindles, which segregate chromosomes equally into two daughter cells. However, many cancer cells form multipolar spindles, which cause chromosome mis-segregation and genomic instability.
Image: Like many cancer cells, liver cells also form multipolar spindles during cell division. Shown here is a liver cell with a multipolar spindle (green) pulling the chromosomes (blue) in many directions. Further research into cell division in the liver could indicate how this process is exploited or disrupted in cancer, revealing novel avenues for cancer therapy.

Target Practice
Omar F. Khan and Edmond W. Zaia
Langer and Anderson Laboratories
MIT Koch Institute

Improving Gene Therapy with Nanotechnology. How can we turn off the genes that promote the development of cancer? Using specially designed nanoparticles as genetic patches, engineers can deliver customized payloads to a cell’s gel-like cytoplasm, where most cellular activity occurs, and mitigate the effects of cancer-causing genes in the cell’s nucleus.
Image: This image shows nanoparticles (red) in the cytoplasm of cervical tumor cells (green). As researchers learn more about how cells respond to these therapies, they will continue to tweak the patches to determine the appropriate distribution of synthetic and genetic material to best target different types of cancer.

Blood, Heat, and Tumors
Alex Bagley, Jeff Wyckoff, and Sangeeta Bhatia
Bhatia Laboratory
MIT Koch Institute

Improving Drug Delivery with Gold Nanorods. Blood vessels are highways through the body. They can transport drugs to cancer cells, but finding the appropriate ramp to exit the vessel can be tricky.
Image: This image shows a network of blood vessels (green) and collagen (purple) infused with gold nanorods (yellow) inside of a living tumor. When researchers heat the particles with near-infrared light, the blood vessels become leaky, making it easier to deliver a therapeutic cargo to its final destination. Because blood vessels provide a universal transport system, such combination therapy has widespread implications for treatment, regardless of cancer type or specific drug needed

The Bad Seed
Mandar Deepak Muzumdar 
Jacks Laboratory
MIT Koch Institute

Modeling the Growth of a Tumor. Small changes have big effects. Although scientists know that certain gene mutations trigger tumor formation, the subsequent cellular events that drive cancer progression are not well understood. Cell-specific fluorescent marking allows researchers to track mutated cells over the entire course of cancer development.
Image: This image shows mutated (green) and nonmutated (red and yellow) cells in a pancreas. Over time, the green cells will multiply dramatically and form a solid tumor, while the others will not. Comparing properties and behaviors of the different cell types will set the stage for earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and even chemoprevention of deadly cancers.

Rainbow Connections
Zeynep Saygin
Kanwisher Laboratory
MIT Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences

Mapping Neural Pathways in the Brain. The human brain is massively complex. Neuroimaging techniques such as MRI provide a noninvasive tool for studying its inner workings.
Image: This image shows pathways of nerve fibers through the brain in three dimensions: up/down (blue), front/back (green), and left/right (red). By comparing these maps of connectivity with maps of neural function, researchers can begin to predict how individual brains will respond to different stimuli. That will eventually help them to understand healthy brain development and will enable earlier diagnosis and interventions for conditions such as autism and dyslexia.

Silencing Echoes
Soheil Feizi, Steven Lee (Artist), Daniel Marbach, Muriel Medard, and Manolis Kellis Computational Biology Group
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Cleaning Up Networks. Are all connections meaningful? This image visualizes a new algorithm (known as "network deconvolution") for determining important relationships in complex networks. Like a filter on a camera lens, it reveals which links (lines) between interconnected elements (points) are most essential. As the lens passes over each network area, indirect links disappear and direct links become visible. Already tested on large networks mapping gene regulation, protein folding, and academic co-authorship, network deconvolution can be used to identify key drivers of biological, social, and technological systems.

Ganglion Style
Alex Norton for EyeWire
Seung Laboratory
MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and MIT Media Lab

Crowdsourcing Science through Online Games. It's all fun and games until somebody maps a neuron! Then it’s time to move on to the next one. The online game EyeWire challenges players, most of whom have no background in neuroscience, to create virtual 3D models of actual neurons using real laboratory data.
Image: The reconstruction seen here shows ganglion cells in the retina. By comparing this gamer-generated map to previously collected data about the neurons’ firing activity, neuroscientists can create a functional model of how vision works. With more than 100,000 players, EyeWire has already helped researchers to uncover how the eye helps us perceive moving stimuli.

Something Fishy
Annie Cavanagh and David McCarthy
School of Pharmacy
University College London

The Secret Lives of Zebrafish. Humans and fish have more in common than you might expect. Since the 1970s, a tropical freshwater minnow known as the zebrafish has been used to study the genetic and physiological development of living organisms. By mapping the zebrafish genome and studying irregularities in their development, researchers have been able to create robust models of how vertebrates develop and identify genetic conditions that lead to diseases such as cancer.
Image: This image shows a false-color scanning electron micrograph of a zebrafish embryo. It appears in the Koch Institute Public Galleries as part of a partnership between the Koch Institute and Wellcome Images.

Collateral Damage
Aprotim Mazumder, Jennifer A. Calvo, and Leona D. Samson
Samson Laboratory
MIT Koch Institute, Department of Biological Engineering, Department of Biology, and Center for Environmental Health Sciences

Investigating the Side Effects of Chemotherapeutics. How much is too much? When treating cancer, it is important to balance a drug’s effectiveness at killing tumor cells with its toxicity to healthy cells elsewhere in the body.
Image: This image of brain tissue shows cerebellar granule neurons (pink), which sustain significant damage when exposed to certain DNA-damaging therapeutics, and surrounding Purkinjee cells (orange), which do not. Researchers are studying these responses to determine the cell properties and repair mechanisms that make different cell types more or less vulnerable to chemotherapy.


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