Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Muscle Know-how
04 May 2012

Muscle Know-how

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are attractive model organisms. Scientists are enamoured by their transparent embryos, rapidly hatching eggs and their genetic similarity to mammals. Pictured is a microscopic section from a fruit fly embryo. Researchers have fluorescently tagged a protein called HOW to find out where it ends up when the insect muscles develop. They believe that HOW protein helps to maintain the circular arrangement of cells (along the top and bottom of the image) which become the fly’s abdominal muscles, as well as those that develop into heart (the chain of cells running left to right along the middle). The most similar protein in mammals (Quaking) helps insulate nerves as they grow. Reduced in sufferers of schizophrenia, researchers hope that by studying the fly protein they will better understand how Quaking works in humans. Understanding how schizophrenia develops has implications for the treatment of this traumatic illness.

Written by Mary-Clare Hallsworth

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.