A Heart's Fresh Start

The muscle cells of a zebrafish heart, called cardiomyocytes and colored red in this image, are able to re-grow after an injury, something cell biologist Ken Poss and cardiologist Ravi Karra would like to teach human heart cells to do. This image comes from 2015 paper in PNAS, in which their team identified a gene transcription factor that is key to the regeneration program activated in cardiomyocytes after an injury.

Hot Bodies

To thrive in the high-temperature environment of a human host, the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans depends largely on the Ras1 protein. Connie Nichols, a research scientist in the Andrew Alspaugh lab in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology fused fluorescent proteins from jellyfish to Ras1 (red) and to a protein that helps it survive on the cell membrane called Pfa4 (green). Yellow spots indicate the two proteins are joined.


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