Under the Microscope #9 – Skate head

16 February 2012
Skate head Credit: Andrew Gillis

Skate head Credit: Andrew Gillis

Andrew Gillis shows us an embryonic skate head and explains how the red denticles dotted all over it have very similar properties to human teeth.

I use this staining procedure to visualise the skeleton following experimental manipulation."

—Andrew Gillis

Under the Microscope is a collection of videos that show glimpses of the natural and man-made world in stunning close-up. They are released every Monday and Thursday and you can see them here: http://bit.ly/A6bwCE

Gillis:
"This is a picture of the head of an embryonic skate (Leucoraja erinacea). A skate is a cartilaginous fish, closely related to sharks and stingrays. This embryo has been stained with dyes that colour the skeleton – cartilage is blue, and mineralised tissue is red – and then cleared with chemicals to make it transparent. The result is a specimen that shows the complex shape and arrangement of different skeletal tissues during embryonic development. I use this staining procedure to visualise the skeleton following experimental manipulation. This allows me to investigate how different genes and proteins are involved in controlling the formation and growth of different skeletal tissues in these fishes"

The skate image is approximately 3cm across.

More info:

www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/~j­ag93

Music by Peter Nickalls:
www.peternickalls.co­m

Many thanks:
Graduate School of Life Sciences

Find more Cambridge research here:
www.cam.ac.uk/resear­ch

 
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