Source: Flickr / fei_company
The Face of an Alien
The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image is of the head of an embryonic Zebrafish. This is a model organism currently being used for studies into the genetic causes of neurodegeneration. This research project involves Kim Wager, a Ph.D. student jointly supervised by Dr. Claire Russell (RVC) and Professor Robert Harvey (UCL School of Pharmacy). The Zebrafish was imaged under a FEI Quanta 200F Scanning Electron Microscope. Firstly, the sample was chemically fixed in 4% (w/v) paraformaldehyde in 0.1M Sodium Cacodylate buffer, followed by dehydration in graduated alcohol and drying in a Leica Critical Point (CPD300) dryer. Prior to imaging, the specimen was given a 5nm gold coating in a Quorum Q150 Sputter coater and imaged at 5KV. In addition, a high tilt angle of 65 degrees enhanced the full structure of the head region.