The University of Oxford has announced the winners in its Innovation Photography competition.The judges were impressed by the quality and variety of the submissions.
An image by DPhil student Malte Kaller won the Judges Choice and the Weird and Wonderful category (above right), and a second image also by Malte was runner up in the Inspiration and Discovery category (above left).
Both pictures were captured in the spring of 2016 using the Confocal Microscope in the West Wing, with the help of fluorescent immunocytochemistry. Specific targets (antigens) in biological tissue are labelled by specifically designed antibodies that bind to them. These antibodies are labelled with fluorescent markers that respond a specific wavelength of light. That means that different aspects of biological tissue can be specifically visualised by exposing it lasers of different wavelength.
The impacts of research-led innovation may take many forms, but all share their common roots in a commitment to creative and lateral ways of thinking, connecting and problem-solving." - Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation
Both images show human sensory neurons (red) that were created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and cultured in a petri dish in the laboratory. These nerve cells were once skins cells in an adult human being. These cells were then genetically reprogrammed (induced) into a stem cell-like state, which means that they regain the potential to turn into almost any cell type of the human body (pluripotent). The cells were then chemically differentiated into sensory neurons, a cell type that allows you to sense pain, pressure, temperature etc.