Meet the Hydra

Pictured above is the Hydra, a small, freshwater animal whose ability to not age and to regenerate its tissue makes it an important tool in biological research. Hydra stem cells have a capacity for indefinite self- renewal, in part thanks to a transcription factor called “Forkhead box O” (FoxO).

This fluorescent image was taken with an inverted Zeiss LSM 880 Airyscan confocal microscope that was brought to the Institute as part of a new partnership between Salk’s Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center and Zeiss (see page 31 for details). The cutting-edge Airyscan microscope provides very high speed, resolution and sensitivity far beyond what the traditional confocal microscope can achieve. The multiple colors in this Hydra image represent different depths in 3D, with warmer colors (red) closer and cooler colors (blue) farther away from the microscope objective.

Image credit: Salk Institute/Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center, Tong Zhang and Uri Manor.

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