Craniofacial Cartilage, by Christina Johnson ’15 and Chrissy Schmidt ’15, shows Zebrafish embryos treated with Alcian Blue stain show craniofacial cartilage to investigate the developmental effects of valproic acid, a common anticonvulsant drug and natural developmental regulator. The dark spots in the photos are bubbles, reminiscent of the underwater bubbles.
A Control, by Christina Barrett ’15 and Ivy Hellickson ’15, shows a 19-hour old zebrafish embryo that served as an untreated control for an experiment in which embryos were exposed to different amounts of gamma radiation. Although this control is normal, many irradiated embryos exhibited heart and gut abnormalities as well as decreased survival rates.
These stunning images, along with scores of others, were all captured by Reed students for independent projects in Developmental Biology (BIO 351L), taught by Prof. Kara Cerveny [biology 2012–]. Students posted the micrographs (photos taken by a camera attached to a microscope) on the department’s Dive into Development blog, which held a contest to select a winner. Nearly 300 people voted for the image they found most interesting, beautiful, and/or provocative. The two images showcased here each received 82 votes to tie for first place.