An incredible view of biological research has won the Alzheimer’s Society’s new competition, with a photo by Charlie Arber that shows a group of “blue” stem cells as they start to turn into “green” brain cell
THESE astonishing images show the unexpected beauty of research into dementia, a debilitating condition that affects around 57 million people globally. They are entrants in Spotlight on Dementia, a contest organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, UK.
The aim is to challenge researchers to showcase their work as they explore everything from the impact of young-onset dementia to the potential involvement of the brain’s immune system in the disease.
The winning picture (above) was taken by Charlie Arber, based at University College London (UCL). His “Bed of Rosettes” shows a group of “blue” stem cells, called a neural rosette, as they start turning into “green” brain cells. Growing brain cells is vital for research into dementia.
The image above by Zeinab Abdi, also at UCL, shows donated microglia cells from a person with Alzheimer’s. Microglia, a form of immune cell, help keep brains healthy, but they may also be involved in the early stages of the disease.
In the middle is an artistic commentary by Rachel Allen at the University of the West of Scotland on how dementia in younger people can lead to them being “frozen out” of their careers.
Last up is an entry by Kirsten Williamson at the University of Southampton, UK, emphasising the resemblance of tree branches and a network of tau proteins, which malfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. It is a reminder, she says, of the beauty of neuroscience.