Duct Duct Goose: Chasing Down Answers in Developmental Biology

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mammary gland organoids

This image, submitted by Dexter Jin at the Whitehead Institute, shows mini-organs derived from human breast tissue.

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mammary gland organoids

Daniel H. Miller, Dexter X. Jin, Piyush B. Gupta
Whitehead Institute and Koch Institute at MIT

Watch out for foul play! By examining the normal growth of biological structures, scientists figure out how developmental processes are perturbed in cancer and other diseases.

This image shows the architecture (purple) and cell types (cyan) in the human mammary gland. The round lobes seen here are responsible for production of milk, which then travels through the duct to the nipple in a mature female. Using this model as a starting point, biologists can now begin to study how genetic and chemical perturbations can disrupt tissue development and cause disease.

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Dexter Jin and Daniel Miller share the story behind their award-winning image.