A fusion of four developing Drosophila embryos (stacked vertically). Their beautiful patterning always reminds me of snakeskin so I made this 'embryonic snake' in Photoshop.
The 'skin', or epithelium, of the embryo is patterned according to ordered mathematical principles, known in some circles as 'sacred geometry'. Proteins comprising the 'skeleton' of the skin cells shown are labelled here in green and blue, showcasing different cell types and patterns in the embryo. The vertical 'stripes' reveal the segmentation patterns of the larvae that will ultimately hatch from these embryos.
25x magnification. Confocal micrographs layered in Photoshop.
(For aficionados, the green cellular component labelled here is transgenically-expresssed cytoskeletal-associated protein, Short stop/Shot; blue 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).