Wiggly Water Bears

This charismatic creature is called a tardigrade (also known as a water bear). The scientific name for the animal shown here is Hypsibius exemplaris. These amazing animals were kindly provided to the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Embryology Class during Summer 2018 by Dr. Bob Goldstein from UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Goldstein’s lab has turned these resilient…

A simple microfluidic device and time lapse imaging of embryonic stem cells

One thing that is overlooked in our general understanding of cell biology is how dynamic everything is. During school, you are taught that cells are a tiny round blobs full of even tinier factories performing various pre-defined functions. These cells are each of a certain type and shape and combine to form greater structures that…

Where spiders come from?

I know, a lot of us sometimes are scared of spiders. It’s even got it’s own diagnostic name: Arachnophobia. What I find incredible is the estimate that between 3 to 6% of population has a fear of spiders.. and we are not counting all the other insects. And sometimes, when we don’t fear insects; we…

Watching spider eggs develop (14hr time lapse video)

Babies are beautiful. Even for an organism like spider (which invoke mixed reaction in everyone); watching a tiny baby spider develop is incredibly beautiful. I get goose bumps talking about it. Also; I have been on a mission to image cell division using almost nothing but a foldscope (no specialized tools); and that led me…

Watching sea urchin eggs trying to divide 

It’s incredible to think about that most multicellular life forms – be it a human or a whale; start from a single cell. Just one single cell. We are more than 30 trillion cells; but all of them can be traced bag to a single cell. How remarkable is that!! Trying to wrap my head…

Sand Dollar larvae

Sometimes you stumble upon a ghost (and after realizing it is a ghost) and wonder what the real thing would look like. That’s what happens to me when I see a “sand dollar” on a beach. If you have never handled a sand dollar in your hand – you should. Walk on a beach looking…

Grass roots – and the mystery of green tips. 

Whenever, I am in a park – I always pull on grass. I am curious what’s lurking right under the soil. This time I decided to look at the roots. It’s quiet remarkable that these little hair thin structures penetrate through all kinds of soils and find resources for the plant.  I pulled a grass…