St. Jude Children's Research Hospital image of blood-brain barrier wins photo competition

October 23, 2012

(MEMPHIS, Tenn. - OCTOBER 23, 2012) Among thousands of entries, Nikon has awarded its top honor to Jennifer Peters, Ph.D., and Michael Taylor, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for their photomicrograph, "The blood-brain barrier of a live zebrafish embryo." It is believed to be the first image showing the formation of the blood-brain barrier in a live animal.

Nikon's Small World contest recognizes excellence in photomicrography, photographs made through a microscope. Nikon awarded its top award to Peters, an imaging scientist, and Taylor, an assistant member of the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, based on their image "that showcases the delicate balance between outstanding scientific technique and exquisite artistic quality," according to Nikon.

The first place winners from St. Jude partnered to capture the image that highlights their research of the blood-brain barrier. "We used fluorescent proteins to look at the brain endothelial cells and watched the blood-brain barrier develop in real-time," Peters said. "We took a three-dimensional snapshot under a confocal microscope and then stacked the images and compressed them into one, pseudo-coloring them in rainbow to illustrate depth."

"A better understanding of the highly complex blood-brain barrier is important for a number of reasons," Taylor said. "The blood-brain barrier regulates the passage of substances between blood and brain. Unfortunately, these properties also prevent the free exchange of many therapeutic agents, presenting a challenging problem for the treatment of neurological diseases. In addition, the blood-brain barrier is often disrupted in central nervous system diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, brain tumors, stroke and diabetic retinopathy. New models of the blood-brain barrier, such as the transgenic zebrafish shown in our image, may lead to new treatments for these diseases."

According to Nikon, they receive incredible images from around the world for the competition. "It is our privilege to honor and showcase these talented researchers and photomicrographers," said Eric Flem, communications manager at Nikon Instruments. "We are proud that this competition is able to demonstrate the true power of scientific imaging and its relevance to both the scientific communities, as well as the general public."

This year's judges were science and media industry experts including Daniel Evanko, editor, Nature Methods; Martha Harbison, senior editor, Popular Science; Robert D. Goldman, Ph.D., Stephen Walter Ranson professor and chair, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; and Liza A. Pon, Ph.D., professor of Pathology and Cell Biology and director, Confocal and Specialized Microscopy Shared Resource, Columbia University.
-end-
Top images from the 2012 Nikon Small World Competition will be exhibited in a calendar and a national museum tour. The full gallery of winning images can be viewed at www.nikonsmallworld.com.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing overall U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. St. Jude is also a leader in research and treatment of life-threatening blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives. To learn more, visit www.stjude.org. Follow us on Twitter @StJudeResearch.

St. Jude Media Relations Contacts

Summer Freeman
(desk) (901) 595-3061
(cell) (901) 297-9861
summer.freeman@stjude.orgCarrie Strehlau
(desk) (901) 595-2295
(cell) (901) 297-9875
carrie.strehlau@stjude.org

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Related Brain Articles from Brightsurf:

Glioblastoma nanomedicine crosses into brain in mice, eradicates recurring brain cancer
A new synthetic protein nanoparticle capable of slipping past the nearly impermeable blood-brain barrier in mice could deliver cancer-killing drugs directly to malignant brain tumors, new research from the University of Michigan shows.

Children with asymptomatic brain bleeds as newborns show normal brain development at age 2
A study by UNC researchers finds that neurodevelopmental scores and gray matter volumes at age two years did not differ between children who had MRI-confirmed asymptomatic subdural hemorrhages when they were neonates, compared to children with no history of subdural hemorrhage.

New model of human brain 'conversations' could inform research on brain disease, cognition
A team of Indiana University neuroscientists has built a new model of human brain networks that sheds light on how the brain functions.

Human brain size gene triggers bigger brain in monkeys
Dresden and Japanese researchers show that a human-specific gene causes a larger neocortex in the common marmoset, a non-human primate.

Unique insight into development of the human brain: Model of the early embryonic brain
Stem cell researchers from the University of Copenhagen have designed a model of an early embryonic brain.

An optical brain-to-brain interface supports information exchange for locomotion control
Chinese researchers established an optical BtBI that supports rapid information transmission for precise locomotion control, thus providing a proof-of-principle demonstration of fast BtBI for real-time behavioral control.

Transplanting human nerve cells into a mouse brain reveals how they wire into brain circuits
A team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Vincent Bonin (VIB-KU Leuven, Université libre de Bruxelles and NERF) showed how human nerve cells can develop at their own pace, and form highly precise connections with the surrounding mouse brain cells.

Brain scans reveal how the human brain compensates when one hemisphere is removed
Researchers studying six adults who had one of their brain hemispheres removed during childhood to reduce epileptic seizures found that the remaining half of the brain formed unusually strong connections between different functional brain networks, which potentially help the body to function as if the brain were intact.

Alcohol byproduct contributes to brain chemistry changes in specific brain regions
Study of mouse models provides clear implications for new targets to treat alcohol use disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Scientists predict the areas of the brain to stimulate transitions between different brain states
Using a computer model of the brain, Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and Josephine Cruzat, a member of his team, together with a group of international collaborators, have developed an innovative method published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Sept.

Read More: Brain News and Brain Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.