Intestinal section from a gnotobiotic mouse model inoculated with selected
bacterial species from the human gut. Blue=Bacteroides WH2, green=Bacteroides thetaiotamicron, pink=Bacteroides vulgatus, yellow=Collinsella aerofaciens, red=Ruminococcus torques. Credit: Yuko Hasegawa, MBL Woods Hole.

Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts (MEFs) grown on glass coverslips coated with 10 ug/ml Fibronectin. CIL:7439 Image by Ana M. Pasapera and Clare M. Waterman


The Cell: An Image Library™ now has over 4,350 research quality cellular images, videos, and animations, and welcomes submissions and feedback. The open access Library* is supported by a Grand Opportunities grant Award Number RC2GM092708 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was launched December 2010 by the American Society for Cell Biology. It features expert annotation and will showcase the most illustrative images with a new top ten feature.

The new repository of microscopy data gives researchers the opportunity to archive their data for their own use, as well as make that information available to other researchers. Ever wondered what to do with the images that guided your discovery but were not in the published paper? Now you can archive them in The Cell for your own future use and that of others. The U.S. National Science Foundation even requires that grantees have data management plans to provide open access to images, etc.

Please visit the site to find images of interest and submit images to develop the collection. Using the Library in your teaching or training? Please let us know.

For additional comments or questions, please contact David Orloff (dorloff@ascb.org), Manager, Image Library.

*The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIGMS, NIH, or ASCB.

Chelsea Connolly, a BDWH student, stands next to a Western blot she is using to detect target proteins.

Chelsea Connolly, a BDWH student, stands next to a Western blot she is using to detect target proteins.

By Sarah Stanley

Chelsea Connolly, an undergraduate at Valdosta State University, is spending her summer at the MBL as part of the Biological Discovery in Woods Hole (BDWH) program. She is working in the MBL’s Josephine Bay Paul Center, with Chief Academic and Scientific Officer Joshua Hamilton acting as her mentor.

“I’ve gotten to meet lots of people with similar interests here,” Connolly says. “I’m happy to have found this opportunity.”

Connolly is contributing to a study investigating the effects of low doses of arsenic in human cells. Specifically, she is looking at how arsenic affects receptors of hormone molecules that influence DNA transcription in embryonic kidney cells. DNA transcription is the first step to protein synthesis, so altering its course can significantly affect a cell. Connolly says that preliminary data indicates current standards for acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water may be too relaxed.

“The lab is well funded and has good equipment, so we can explore multiple avenues,” Connolly says. “We can look at proteins, mRNA, and other data to tie a lot together.”

Connolly has been involved in research at Valdosta State University, where she studied the molecular biology of plants and algae. This is the first time she’s had the opportunity to work with human cells.

Paul Malchow, a faculty member at University of Illinois, Chicago, and Allen Mensinger of University of Minnesota, Duluth, co-founded BDWH, which provides undergraduates with research experiences they may not have access to at their own institutions.

“Paul and Al are really helpful, especially when it comes to giving advice about grad school and careers. I’m lucky to be here,” Connolly says.

More information about the BDWH program can be found here: http://www.mbl.edu/education/courses/other_programs/reu.html

Chelsea Connolly, a BDWH student, uses human embryonic kidney cells in her research project.

Connolly uses human embryonic kidney cells in her research project.

Connolly examines human embryonic kidney cells under a microscope.

Connolly examines human embryonic kidney cells under a microscope.

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Earlier this summer, MBL CEO Gary Borisy snapped a shot of the newly painted rosettes on the facade of Lillie. Photo by Sally Casper

This summer, the facade of the Lillie building was treated to a facelift. While the red brick, concrete bands, and painted copper panels were cleaned, research was performed to determine the original intentions of the architect. Richard Cutler, the MBL’s director of facilities, thought the copper panels decorated with marine images may have originally been unpainted, and he and his team were prepared to restore them to their original state. However, it turns out they were intended to be painted from the start.

“The relief on the copper panels is now more prominent to the naked eye with a fresh coat of paint,” Cutler says. “Two things had changed over the years. There used to be four lights on the main entrance. We’re looking to restore that look. And changes to the windows had given the building a slightly different look. We made it better, in my opinion, by painting over the off-color window panels to match the rest of the paint.”

Lillie was built in 1924, and was originally called the Main Laboratory.  The director of the MBL at the time was Frank R. Lillie, for whom the building is now named.

Betzig2By Diana Kenney and Sarah Stanley

Friday was the last day MBL Physiology and Neurobiology students had Eric Betzig’s latest invention to explore. Two weeks ago, Betzig (left) brought his new contribution to high-resolution microscopy to the MBL from his lab at HHMI’s Janelia Farm campus and installed it in the central microscopy facility on the ground floor of Loeb.

“It’s really at the very bleeding edge,” Betzig says of his microscope, “but it’s a really good time to bring it (to the MBL), where all sorts of world-class cell biologists throw everything they can think of at it. We can learn through trial by fire what works and what doesn’t.”

The microscope combines two concepts—plane illumination microscopy and Bessel beams—to allow for high-resolution imaging within live cells. Cell components are labeled with fluorescent markers, and excitation of these markers by specific wavelengths of light allows them to be visualized by the microscope. (See video below to hear Betzig explain how his Bessel beam plane illumination microscope works).

The microscope is the just latest invention that Betzig has test-run at the MBL. In 2007, Betzig loaded his cutting-edge PALM (photoactivated localization microscopy) equipment into the back of an SUV and drove it up to the Physiology course, upon the invitation of Physiology faculty member and NIH senior investigator Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz. PALM allows scientists to discriminate molecules only two to 25 nanometers apart, a vast improvement on the previous 200-nanometer limitation. At the MBL, Betzig, Lippincott-Schwartz, Jim and Cathy Galbraith of the NIH, Hari Shroff, a former Physiology student, and students then in the course worked feverishly around the clock with PALM. “By the end of two weeks, we had gotten PALM to work with live cells for the first time!” says Lippincott-Swartz. Not only that, but they got PALM to work with two colors of fluorescent probes rather than one, and demonstrated that it could be used to track single molecules in live cells. “It was a spectacular session, and it led to several publications,” Lippincott-Swartz says.

What’s next for Betzig? “I don’t know how many times we’ll invent a new microscope,” Betzig says, “but when we do, the MBL is a good place to be for that kind of intense trial to try to find out what works.”

Janelia Farms/HHMI scientists Thomas Planchon, Research Specialist; Eric Betzig, Group Leader; and Liang Gao, Postdoctoral Scientist, have been testing a new microscope with the help of MBL students and faculty.

Janelia Farm/HHMI scientists Thomas Planchon, Research Specialist; Eric Betzig, Group Leader; and Liang Gao, Postdoctoral Scientist, have been testing a new microscope with the help of MBL students and faculty.

Eric Betzig works on the new microscope.

Eric Betzig works on the new microscope.

Betzig discusses the new Bessel beam plane illumination microscope:

In this clip, Betzel’s microscope allows for visualization of histones – proteins associated with DNA – inside a pig kidney cell:

Here, the microscope reveals a network of mitochondria – cellular components that synthesize ATP, the “fuel” of the cell – inside a human cancer cell:

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