6th Prize – Thomas J. Deerinck

National Center for Microscopy & Imaging Research – University of California – San Diego – La Jolla, California, USA

Specimen: Rat retina astrocytes and blood vessels (160x)
Technique: Fluorescence and Confocal

Astrocytes (yellow) are glial cells in the brain and spinal cord. They are so named for their “star” shape. They are the most abundant types of cell in their cell and give it its physical structure. Among other biochemical and metabolic processes, they are associated with neural synapses that help the brain communicate with itself, and other parts of the body.

(The red and blue stains are blood vessels that supply the area with oxygen and nutrients.)