From fruit flies to cancer treatment

IMAGE: Daniel Rios / EMBL

This image – resembling a network of rivers and canals – actually shows the tracheal tip cell of a fruit fly.

Fruit flies are heavily used in research and they are a common model organism in developmental biology. Researchers at EMBL use the larvae of fruit flies to study tracheal cell development. Their results can help us to understand the development of tubes in e.g. human blood vessels.

This is possible because blood vessels have a similar structure to the fruit fly tracheal system and are also composed of a network of highly branched tubes. Tip cells lead the way when new blood vessels are formed. They guide endothelial cells – which line the interior surface of blood vessels – and sense their environment for guidance cues. Because of this essential role, the tip cells are a potential therapeutic target for anti-cancer therapies, to stop tumours from developing their own blood vessels.

If you have a stunning picture of your science, your lab or your site, you can submit it here.

Tags: Cancer, Fruit fly, Heidelberg, Picture of the Week

More from this category

Picture of the week

Throwback to June 2014: While EMBL Heidelberg’s main entrance is still in the dark, the well-known EMBL logo is already lit by the morning sun.

By  Mathias Jäger

EMBL Heidelberg's main building, the top of the façade lit up by sunlight.


Read the latest Issues of our magazine - EMBLetc.

Looking for past print editions of EMBLetc.? Browse our archive, going back 20 years.

EMBLetc. archive

Newsletter archive

Read past editions of our monthly e-newsletter

For press

Contact the Press Office