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As many natural forms, the 'skin', or epithelium, of the developing Drosophila embryo (vertical orientation, left side) is beautifully patterned according to ordered mathematical principles, known in some circles as 'sacred geometry' (ie. the 'flower of life', right-hand side). Three proteins comprising the 'skeleton' of the skin cells shown are labelled here in red, green and blue (overlap of red and green light looks yellow), showcasing different cell types along the length of the embryo. The vertical 'stripes' reveal the ultimate segmentation pattern of the larva that will hatch result this embryo.

Blended images: 25x magnification confocal micrograph layered with images generated in Photoshop.

(For aficionados, the blue cellular component labelled here is the cytoskeletal component spectrin; orange is cytoskeletal-associated protein, Short stop/Shot; green is acetylated tubulin)


Imaged using an Olympus Fluoview 1000 in the laboratory of my gracious mentor, Dr Nick Brown (Cambridge University), with funding from the BBSRC, and gratitude to my PhD supervisor, Dr Katja Roper (MRC-LMB, Cambridge University).

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