This striking picture shows the delicate blood vessels and lining of a mouse's heart as the animal grows in the womb. It's a complex process requiring cells to organise themselves into arteries, veins and finer tubes called capillaries that supply blood and energy to the heart itself, as well as the four muscular chambers forming the pump that pushes blood round the body. Researchers have discovered that some animals, including mice and zebrafish, have the potential to repair their own hearts if they get damaged or diseased, using similar processes that happen when the heart first grows. By understanding how this happens, and seeing if the same repair mechanisms can be triggered in humans, we might be able to repair our broken hearts one day.
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.