Last week, during my cell biology lab, we did an experiment that involved staining actin in cells with a fluorescent dye and visualizing the cells under a special type of microscope. A few hours ago, the TA for the class sent out some of the images that were taken during the lab. Call me crazy, but I think fluorescent microscopy is an art form. The intricate beauty of cells and proteins and tissues is on display, set apart from the background in bright, vibrant hues.
The images themselves end up being surreal, hazy compositions. The cells turn into translucent, amorphous balloons floating through the pitch-black night. Cells are huge, dominating, in these images. It’s hard to believe that each cell is only 10-15 microns across, about 1/5 the width of a hair.