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Title:Gazing into the Cornea, Our Window to the World
Author(s):Hamilton, Paul
Subject(s):Cell and Developmental Biology
Abstract:As you gaze deeply into another's eyes, you look right through the transparent cells of the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye. While typically overlooked in romantic descriptions of the eye, this tissue plays very important roles in vision, including protection of deeper ocular tissues from dust, infection, and even damage from contact lenses. Because of these frequent insults, cells in this tissue need to be constantly replaced by a resident population of stem cells. My research focuses on better understanding the biology of these stem cells, and their ability to repair this tissue. Remarkably, in some species, the cornea is also capable of regenerating a new lens. This image shows nuclei in a subset of cells in the multilayered cornea, labeled by a fluorescent reporter. Each nucleus has its own unique shape, location, and intensity. In fact, as you look closely at this image you will see that some of these nuclei are in different focal planes, fading gradually into the deeper layers. Using data like these, we are able to gain insight into the origin of these cells, and their capacity to replace damaged structures such as the cornea or lens.
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Paul Hamilton
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-20

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