1,100 Words

Gut Bouquet

This Valentine’s day, everything is coming up roses -- even our guts. This cellular bouquet, composed by research associate Chong Li Yen at Duke-NUS in Singapore, is in fact a slice of human colon tissue viewed under a microscope. The tissue is cut to reveal the cross-sections of intestinal glands, tiny wells in the gut wall that absorb water and nutrients while oozing mucus and digestive enzymes. Li Yen used cell staining to reveal the beauty in this slimy body part: with her technique, mucus-secreting “goblet” cells are transformed into pink daisies framed against halos of blue, nutrient-absorbing “enterocyte” cells.