Like an army marching across the countryside, these brown-stained breast cancer cells are encroaching on healthy breast tissue. At this stage the tumour is classed as 'ductal carcinoma in situ' (DCIS), as the cancer cells haven't fully invaded the breast. Even at this early stage, the cancer cells look different – their nuclei (blue patches inside the brown cells) are much larger and more irregular than those in healthy cells (smaller blue dots). Modified images of tumours stained in this way are being used in an exciting new citizen science project called CellSlider, where people can help cancer researchers analyse the huge amounts of data being generated by new lab techniques. Although the bulk of the analysis is done by computer, human eyes and brains are still needed to spot patterns or unusual images, and many hands can make light work of this task. Get involved at Click To Cure.
Written by Kat Arney
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.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.