Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 10th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

British Heart Foundation Week Seeing is Believing
10 February 2015

Seeing is Believing

Are these the veins of a leaf? Or maybe a strange map? In fact this is the delicate network of blood vessels in the light-sensitive layer at the back of a mouse's eyeball, known as the retina, artificially coloured and viewed down a microscope. The retina is packed with light-sensing cells as well as nerve cells that send signals to the brain telling it what the animal is seeing, and they need plenty of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Researchers are studying how these fragile tubes grow in order to understand more about what can go wrong if there are problems with the heart or circulation. For example, high blood pressure can cause damage or tiny blood clots can get stuck in them, leading to sight loss.

Written by Kat Arney

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