Winning image for Phenotype magazine
Congratulations to Dr Fernando Martinez-Estrada, the winner of this term's Snapshot research image competition run by Phenotype, the magazine of the Oxford University Biochemistry Society (OUBS).
His microscope image features on the cover of this term's issue of Phenotype which has just been published.
Dr Martinez-Estrada, who is a researcher in Dr David Greaves' lab in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, won with his striking image of a multinucleated giant cell. These cells are present where there is chronic inflammation and are also found in tumours, but little is known about their properties.
The winning image captures a giant cell formed from the fusion of specialised white blood cells known as macrophages. Dr Martinez-Estrada used a technique to label specific cell proteins with fluorescent tags. In the picture, the red and green tags recognise different components of the cell's internal scaffolding.
One of the runners-up in the competition was Dr Kikue Tachibana-Konwalski from Professor Kim Nasmyth's lab in the Biochemistry Department. She captured the product of an unusual event during mouse embryogenesis - a fertilised egg that has an extra set of chromosomes.
Fertilisation normally produces an egg with 2 nuclei, one from the mother and one from the father. This faulty egg may have been produced by the fertilisation of an egg by 2 sperm. The chromosomes in the nuclei have been stained with a red dye as they prepare to separate for the first embryonic cell division.
The aim of the Snapshot competition is to encourage researchers to tell others about their work. This is the second competition held and the response has been good. Researchers can now submit images for the next competition.
Phenotype started as an initiative of the OUBS, but has become broader than that now. It continues to publicise the OUBS seminar series and also carries articles about biochemistry-related research in the department and beyond, written by an editorial team of around 12 people from a number of departments.
Starting this term, copies of the magazine will be circulated in all the University's biological sciences departments and in some colleges.
OUBS is a student society but has many postdoctoral researchers involved in running it. It was set up in 1964 to promote interest in the area of Biochemistry. The society organises a seminar series with speakers from the UK and abroad. This year's speakers include a number of Nobel Laureates.