How is the work you are currently doing relevant to everyday life?
Biology has always fascinated me and I have always wanted to find out more about how
the human body functions and the processes involved in the development of diseases.
I have been studying Type 2 Diabetes and some specific proteins that could be
potentially involved in the development of this disease. Through using confocal
microscopy, I was able to find out how changes in the localisation of these proteins
in muscle, in response to certain chemicals, may be involved in diseases such as
diabetes. Overall, this work is helping add more knowledge to what is already known
about metabolic diseases and increasing our understanding on how people get diabetes
and develop new treatments for the disease.
What do the images show?
The images are of muscle cells, which show different structures involved in keeping
the cells working. The cells are stained using fluorescent chemicals which label
these structures. Using a confocal microscope (a microscope attached to lasers)
images were taken of the cells at very high magnification so that the labelled
structures can be seen. The nucleus which is the control centre of the cell is
labelled in blue. Powerhouse shows the mitochondria in red, which provide the cells
with energy and in green an important protein involved in how the mitochondria
produce energy for the cell. Powerhouse 2 shows the cell membrane labelled in red and an
important protein in green that is involved in letting glucose into the cell and so
providing the cell with energy. When the cells are treated with a specific chemical
this protein moves to the membrane and so the staining of the membrane changes to