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Skin

Skin mosaic

This beautiful mosaic of mostly hexagonal cells is the outer skin layer of a zebrafish larva as seen under a microscope. Each skin cell exhibits a unique pattern of actin ridges. Actin is a family of globular multifunctional proteins found in almost all eukaryotic cells. Actin forms microfilaments,…

By Jodie Haigh

Picture of the week

Mouse skin samples of the rare genetic skin disease amyloidosis, before light treatment (left) and after treatment (right). The arrows indicate aggregates of debris, which cause the skin to become rough and uncomfortable. Upon treatment these aggregates are reduced, allowing the skin to heal. IMAGES: Paul Heppenstall and Linda Nocchi / EMBL

Using light to stop itch

EMBL researchers have found a way to stop itch with light in mice

By Iris Kruijen

Science

Managing chronic pain with light

Scientists at EMBL Rome develop new method that uses light to manage neuropathic pain in mice

By Iris Kruijen

Science

In normal skin (left), the stem cells at the base, shown in green, differentiate into skin cells, shown in red. In mice whose skin has neither C/EBPα nor C/EBPβ (middle), this differentiation is blocked: green-labeled stem cells appear in upper layers of skin, and there are no differentiated skin cells (no red staining). This also happens at the initial stages of basal cell carcinomas. In skin where C/EBPα is present but has lost its capacity to interact with E2F, a molecule that regulates the cell cycle (right), skin cells start differentiating abnormally, before they have properly exited the stem cell ‘program’ (yellow/orange). This is similar to what is observed in the initial stages of squamous cell carcinomas, a more aggressive and invasive skin tumour.

How stem cells make skin

Stem cells have a unique ability: when they divide, they can either give rise to more stem cells, or to a variety of specialised cell types. In both mice and humans, a layer of cells at the base of the skin contains stem cells that can develop into the specialised cells in the layers above.…

By Guest author(s)

Science

The closest look ever at native human tissue

Seeing proteins in their natural environment and interactions inside cells has been a longstanding goal. Using an advanced microscopy technique called cryo-electron tomography, researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have visualised proteins responsible for cell-cell…

By Guest author(s)

Science

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