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SciShots: Brain tumors in high-res

Scientists are using tumor “spheroids” to study glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer


1 min read

Dr. Thomas Daubon and his team from the University of Bordeaux want to understand how brain tumors get their energy. They are modeling glioblastoma, a highly deadly brain cancer, by creating “spheroids,” tiny lab-grown clumps of cancer cells taken from brain cancer patients’ tumors. These spheroids mimic an important aspect of glioblastoma in human patients in that they have a low-oxygen core where the cells use a different kind of metabolism to maintain their energy and continue to grow and divide. Jérémie Teillon, a core facility engineer at the Bordeaux Imaging Center, captured the above image of a glioblastoma spheroid using a confocal microscope which he then rendered with AGAVE, a graphics tool built by researchers at the Allen Institute for Cell Science that creates realistic-looking sources of light and shadow in 2D images. Rachel Tompa, Ph.D.

Microscopic viewpoints, computer-generated models, intricate tracings and more — see a new side of science with SciShots

About the author: Rachel Tompa

Rachel Tompa is a science and health writer and editor. A former molecular biologist, she’s been telling science stories since 2007 and has covered the gamut of science topics, including the microbiome, the human brain, pregnancy, evolution, science policy and infectious disease. During her tenure as Senior Editor at the Allen Institute, Rachel wrote stories and created podcast episodes covering all the Institute’s scientific divisions.

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