Pearring Lab Image for BioArt

Pearring Lab’s Image “Seeing the Light” was accepted for the 2020 BioArtography Collection. 

“Light that enters the eye is captured by rod and cone photoreceptor cells in the retina (located in the back inner surface of the eyeball). These cells are able to convert light into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. The photoreceptor cell has a light sensor that is filled with thousands of membrane layers. Like layers of paint, this arrangement increases the chance that a photon of light is absorbed by the visual pigment residing in these membranes. To maintain the health of this compartment, these membranes must undergo continuous renewal. Like a conveyor belt, new membranes are added at the bottom while old ones are removed from the top. In this image a handful of rod photoreceptors, in yellow, have been genetically activated to reveal new membrane addition, while the rest of the rod population is labeled in blue.”

The entire 2020 Juried Collection of 18 images can be found at the U-M BioArt Website.  

Our image was also included in a recent Michigan Today article featuring Deb Gumucio, co-founder and director of U-M BioArtography Project, discussing the imagery of the coronavirus. 

Hanh and Nafisa Join the Lab!

Hanh Truong is a graduate student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is working on a project to understand the organization of the transition zone in the ciliary outer segment of photoreceptor cells and how it is altered during retinal degeneration.

Nafisa Nuzhat is a graduate student in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. She is working on a project to elucidate the molecular players engaged during early stages of photoreceptor ciliogenesis.

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