Beautiful Science

Beautiful, yet deadly, a cancer cell probes its environment with spiky protrusions called filopodia in this award-winning picture. Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Institute of Medical Biology used a state-of-the-art su
PHOTO: INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL BIOLOGY, A*STAR

Beautiful, yet deadly, a cancer cell probes its environment with spiky protrusions called filopodia in this award-winning picture.

Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Institute of Medical Biology used a state-of-the-art super-resolution imaging technique known as structured illumination microscopy to illustrate how fine, delicate and complex these cellular structures are.

Captured with a resolution of 120nm (a nanometre is a billionth of a metre), the image shows a single neuroblastoma cell induced by biochemical signals to form filopodia protrusions.

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that forms in certain types of nerve tissue.

This photo recently won first prize in Cell-ebrate Science, an imaging competition open to entries from South-east Asia and Taiwan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2017, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe