Resistance is Fertile: Studying Neuron Sensitivity in Culture

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This image, submitted by Carrie Margulies of the Samson Laboratory, shows differentiation of neurons in culture. See a related image from this project here.

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Carrie Margulies, Leona D. Samson
Samson Laboratory
MIT Koch Institute, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Biological Engineering, Department of Biology

Why are some cells more resistant to treatment than others? The cloudy region on the right in this image shows undifferentiated stem cells, which display remarkable sensitivity to DNA-damaging chemotherapy when the repair protein ‘Aag’ is deleted from their genetic make-up. Once they differentiate into neurons, however, the same genetic deletion makes them resistant. Researchers are studying the development of these neurons (green) to determine why and how this switch in sensitivity occurs. They plan to apply this model to other cell types to create a more comprehensive picture of why cancer treatments succeed or fail.

Watch

Carrie Margulies shares the story behind "Resistance is Fertile."

You can also watch her presentation from the the 2015 Image Awards exhibition opening event on March 10, 2015 or the image's teaser video on the Koch Institute's Facebook page.