Throughout 2019 we will be posting an image a day on the LMB’s website and social media channels about life and work at the LMB, both now and in the past.
Science can be very visual, and with the increasing number of different techniques available to visualise molecules, cells and organisms at increasingly higher resolution and in different ways, now is an ideal time to share some of the ground-breaking and exciting science taking place at the LMB. We also want to give people an insight into what it is like to work at such a world-class institute, whether in the support services or within the labs themselves. It is hoped that these images will help to inspire people, from all walks of life, about the beauty of science and about the pleasure of working in such a prestigious organisation. We also aim to issue images that link to the history of the LMB and the science that has led to the awarding of 12 Nobel Prizes.
We hope you enjoy the project.
The first research undertaken at the MRC Unit in Cambridge, that later was renamed the LMB, was the work to determine the structure of proteins. Here, on day 20 of #LMB365, is the model of the first protein whose structure was determined: myoglobin. Myoglobin is an oxygen storing protein found in muscles, in particular in ocean and diving mammals, such as whales. This model, on display in the LMB Atrium, was made for LMB scientist and Nobel Laureate, John Kendrew @NobelPrize
Day 18 of #LMB365 shows pronuclear injection of a transgenic DNA solution into a 0.5 day fertilised mouse egg. The egg is held in place onto a pulled glass holding pipette by suction. Pronuclear microinjection is one of the methods used to produce new transgenic mouse strains, which LMB scientists can use to study human diseases, and potentially identify new targets for treatments.
Day 17 of #LMB365 brings you the sculpture 'What Mad Pursuit' by Kindra Crick @K_Crick. Known locally as the 'blue helix', the sculpture depicts the DNA double helix structure. Kindra, the granddaughter of Francis Crick, one of the LMB scientists who discovered the DNA structure in the 1950s and who won the 1962 Nobel Prize @NobelPrize for the discovery, creates art that gives visual expression to the wonder and process of scientific inquiry. Part of the design on Kindra’s sculpture represents the blackboard drawings of Francis, which he created to help explore and solve his scientific ideas
On day 16 of #LMB365 Laura Pellegrini @laupellegrini from Madeline Lancaster’s group @MinibrainLab in the Cell Biology Division @CellBiol_MRCLMB has made a collage of human cerebral organoid ventricular buds. The ventricular buds are used to study the development of human cerebral cortex
Day 15 of #LMB365 brings you a very satisfying photo from Andrew Carter's @Carter_Lab group in Structural Studies. The set of tubes contains the inner protein contents of cells which have been spun at very high speeds. It is a bit like breaking open an egg and separating the yolks from the whites but under very high centrifugal forces. In order to spin these tubes at such speeds they need to be perfectly balanced with each other resulting in a beautiful pattern of the inner contents of cells layered on top of each other
Day 14 of #LMB365 shows a reflection of the LMB's building in the facade of the new headquarters for @AstraZeneca. Members of the LMB have been eagerly watching the progress of the building over the past few years and are looking forward to welcoming them and others to the expanded Cambridge Biomedical Campus @CamBioCampus in the near future
On day 13 of #LMB365 we celebrate another of the LMB's Nobel Laureates @NobelPrize. Born on this day in 1927 in Germiston, South Africa #OTD, Sydney Brenner was, jointly with Bob Horvitz and John Sulston, awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for his discoveries concerning the genetic regulation of organ development in C. elegans
When DNA is damaged the consequence can be mutation which can drive cancer. Fortunately, our cells have repair mechanisms that can fix damage in order to protect the cell. KJ Patel's group in the LMB's PNAC Division studies these cellular processes by deleting a target gene to reveal its role in repair; if a gene is needed for repair, the cells will form fewer colonies. On Day 12 of #LMB365 we show towers of plates containing such colonies before they are counted by a project student from Cambridge University @Cambridge_Uni
John Sutherland's group in the PNAC Division is trying to recreate the steps that led to life and took place on Earth 4.5 billion years ago. In day 11 of #LMB365 we see a pair of flasks in which components of potentially primitive genetic materials have been made
On day 10 of #LMB365 we have an image taken from the LMB terrace located at roof level which has spectacular views over the Cambridge Biomedical Campus @CamBioCampus. On what was a cold and bright day, not a day to stay outside very long without a good reason, Benedicte Recolin @BediRecolin was able to capture a bright moon trying to make its way up while the sun hadn’t yet set. As a result, she enjoyed staring at a teeny tiny white ball floating in the sky and showing up between the LMB’s chimneys
On day 9 of #LMB365 we have another stunning image by Katja Roeper @katjaroeper in the Cell Biology Division @CellBiol_MRCLMB. This shows a Drosophila embryo viewed during the process of dorsal closure. The cell-cell adhesion molecule Cadherin is labelled in red, the LIM-domain protein Zasp52 is labelled in green, and nuclei are in blue. Drosophila is a key model organism to study fundamental aspects of biology and Katja’s group uses it to understand organ formation
Orbital lights in the LMB Library @LMB_Library for day 8 of #LMB365, welcoming scientists, students and staff to a quiet and relaxing part of the building where they can find resources and write up papers and thesis away from the buzz of the labs
On day 7 of #LMB365 we celebrate one of the LMB's Nobel Laureates @NobelPrize. Sir John Walker was born on this day in Halifax, Yorkshire in 1941. He was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
Day 6 of #LMB365 is provided by Alex Bates @as_bates in the group of Greg Jefferis @gsxej who are working on circuits in the brain of the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster. The data was first collected by Ann-Shyn Chiang’s lab in Taiwan and categorised by scientists at the LMB. The image shows over a thousand neurons from the fly's ‘instinct centre’, which is similar to the human amygdala, and how they spread across the brain.
On Day 5 of #LMB365 we have a surface view of a Drosophila embryonic blastoderm provided by Ghislain Gillard @GhislainGillard in the group of Katja Roeper @katjaroeper in the Cell Biology Division @CellBiol_MRCLMB. During early development, the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) embryo is a syncitia, meaning that it contains many nuclei in a common cytoplasm. These nuclei then migrate toward the surface of the embryo, where membranes will be built around them to form individual cells with a single nucleus, in a process termed cellularisation. This image represents an embryo after this step of cellularisation, viewed from the top. Each roundish structure corresponds to a single cell containing a single nucleus (not visible here). The membranes are stained for several proteins, one of them, Actin (in magenta) being essential for this cellularisation to occur
Microscopes at the ready on day 4 of #LMB365. These microscopes are used in the Cell Biology Division @CellBiol_MRCLMB for looking at Dictyostelium discoideum, a species of soil-living amoeba, which is one of the model organisms used at the LMB. This area of research focuses on how cells drink and move: macropinocytosis and chemotaxis
Day 3 of #LMB365 we bring you an image of the multicellular organism Caenorhabditis elegans provided by Soudabeh Imanikia @Simanikia in the Neurobiology Division. With fewer than 1000 cells and a transparent body, it is possible to follow the entire process of embryogenesis in the tiny oval-shaped eggs “live” inside the body of the worms!!! This worm has a fluorescent-green gut to allow the @TaylorLabLMB to follow changes during ageing without the need for dissection and a red pharynx used as a co-injection marker to show the plasmid has successfully integrated in the worm
On Day 2 of #LMB365 we have a beautiful image by Katja Roeper @katjaroeper in the Cell Biology Division @CellBiol_MRCLMB showing an epithelial Caco2 cell monolayer labelled for a tight junction protein in blue and nuclei in red. Her lab uses this model to understand how cell surface receptors affect epithelial integrity
As day dawns over the New Year, the LMB celebrates a year of life and work in images. This is Day 1 of #LMB365 - see more every day throughout 2019 as we bring you amazing images of our science and the people that make the LMB tick