Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 8th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Clues for Cancer
26 January 2012

Clues for Cancer

Increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer are associated with faults in a gene called BRCA2. Researchers already know that the healthy version of this gene produces a protein that repairs damaged DNA. Recent work suggests it might also be necessary for proper cell division – the doubling of the genome (all the DNA) in a cell, which is then split between two daughter cells. To investigate, researchers looked at the inner workings of human cells lacking the BRCA2 protein. This picture reveals their findings – DNA is stained blue and α-tubulin (a scaffold-like protein used here to identify different cells) is coloured red. Each fully formed cell has only one nucleus (blue blob) – suggesting the two copies of the genome have been successfully divided into separate cells. So BRCA2 – at least in humans – doesn’t control cell division.

Written by Rebecca Hill

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.