Beatson Scientists’ images excite at Cell Worlds exhibition

A new science and art project boldly takes microscopy images where they have never gone before

Scientists as the camerawomen and -men of the unknown is the motto of a recently founded educational project. Bringing together art and science, Cell Worlds now stages an immersive experience in Bordeaux, France of the microscopic world of the human body – told through state-of-the-art fluorescent images by expert scientists like Dr Anh Hoang Le and Prof Laura Machesky at the Beatson.

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Opening Event at the Cell Immersion exhibition in Bordeaux, France; right-hand installation shows work on melanoma cell migration by Anh Hoang Le Image Credit: Bertrand Bernager and Cell Worlds


One of the biggest showcases of scientific images, Cell Worlds brings together the works of 25 teams from world-renowned research institutes around the globe. Their aim - to awe the public with the beauty of, but also to introduce them to the complexity of life at cellular level. In a documentary style, their first project Cell Immersion features imagery of real live cells and explores how these single units of life move, hunt, divide and transmit information.

Prof Laura Machesky:
"I was delighted to be asked to contribute to Cell Worlds, along with Anh Hoang Le, whose beautiful microscope images attracted their attention. This is a real chance to communicate more broadly about the beauty of the cell as the most basic unit of life. It also highlights how rapidly our knowledge of biomedicine is advancing through technological breakthroughs in imaging."

Dr Anh Hoang Le and Prof Laura Machesky study the migration, invasion and metastasis of cancer cells and in particular how the proteins CYRI-A and CYRI-B influence the cells' ability to spread to distant sites. Within Cells Worlds you can follow their footage of two melanoma cell lines - one more invasive and one less invasive- mixed together, but migrating at different speeds; showing the aggressiveness of cancer cell migration.

The Cell Immersion installation can be visited in Bordeaux until the 2nd January 2023, but if you can't make it to France, maybe you can you spot some more of Anh's images in the documentary on YouTube?

Find out more about Anh's and Laura's research:

Migration, Invasion and Metastasis Lab

Le AH, Yelland T, Paul NR, Fort L, Nikolaou S, Ismail S, Machesky LM. CYRI-A limits invasive migration through macropinosome formation and integrin uptake regulation. J Cell Biol. 2021;220.

Yelland T, Le AH, Nikolaou S, Insall R, Machesky L, Ismail S. Structural Basis of CYRI-B Direct Competition with Scar/WAVE Complex for Rac1. Structure. 2021;29(3):226-237.e224. 

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