Taking as an inspiration the classical painting by Paolo Uccello, the knight is the killer T cell in shining armour, here seen attacking a cancer cell. Like Uccello’s pestilent dragon, this cancer cell is complex and disorganized. The red granules are the T cell’s killing weapon, they are able to disturb the permeability of the cancer cell membrane therefore killing it. The cancer cell loses this battle.
Wellcome Images wrote a very nice blog post about this image. You can read it here.
These organelles look good together. They are some of the most recognizable cellular components. All can be drawn with a few strong lines that will make them instantly identifiable. The Golgi apparatus packages macromolecules and transports them throughout the cell, in those full vesicles. Mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum seem to be supervising the operation.
This is the beginning of the series of cells defined by their mitochondrial membranes. It assumes that by the isolating and staining and processing steps required to visualize cells under the microscope, all have been stripped away, leaving behind only the essence of the cell machinery that produces the energy to subsist: the network of mitochondrial membranes (in silver like electrons racing away), over a dark cloak that covers everything else. The essence of the energy of the cell.
A less abstract version of the Pair of Ghost Cells, here the mitochondrial network is still defining the cell, but the cell membranes are also clearly identifiable. The focus of the composition are the internal membranes, relegating the cell periphery to a mere physical need to separate one cell from another. The mitochondrial membranes run the show.
A cell made visible by the outline of its mitochondrial network. Cellular membranes that are there, but not there, assumed by the viewer. The light coming out of the centre depicts a non-there nucleus.
Another variation on the Golgi apparatus. Two Golgis, same role different biochemistry. One cool, one warm – same cell, two jobs. The vacuoles here are quite prominent, but feel like ghosts, silently passing around the frenetic activity of the working Golgis.
Variations on an organelle: this Golgi apparatus plays with its function (processing and packaging, central to the transport and modification of proteins in eukaryotic cells) using colour gradations. From centre to loaded orb, from one end to the other, colours change and evolve into each other suggesting chemical changes.
This is a different work from mitochondrial network I, a less used image, but I prefer it to the more intense, closer to the nucleus version. The intensity of the yellow focus is perhaps less impacting, but the mitochondrial network is more interesting.
These vacuoles variations do not rely on big modifications; same shape, same 2 or 3 colours. Still, they are cousins rather than twins of different sizes. Each has its own content, function, character and almost personality. Each can be a world in a bubble.
The variations take an organelle and explore colours, shapes and sizes. Here the vacuoles move to centre stage, from passive space fillers to the places where the action is taking place. From plain spheres moving slowly towards their destination, to complex independent beings, evolving in colour as they soar towards their destiny.