Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Brookes on the cover of Science

Friday, 14 February 2014

Science magazine

An image of a living lateral root emerging from the main parent root, taken by Oxford Brookes biologist Dr John Runions, has made the front cover of the journal Science.

An image of a living lateral root emerging from the main parent root, taken by Oxford Brookes biologist Dr John Runions, has made the front cover of the journal Science.

John explains how the image was chosen:

‘The picture being on the cover of Science actually came as a complete surprise to me on the morning it was published when I saw people tweeting it!

‘The image had won a prize in the prestigious Nikon Small World imaging competition a few years ago.

Science licensed the image from the Science Photo Library who represent many of the shots I take with microscopes – often used to illustrate articles in textbooks and online.

‘The article in Science was by one of my colleagues Niko Geldner who is at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. The paper was about the genetics of the developmental process that allows lateral roots to emerge from the parent root as you can see the one in the picture doing.

'I imaged a living plant using the laser microscope technology that my Department, Biological and Medical Sciences, has a global reputation for.

‘The cell walls of the root are stained in red with each nucleus marked in green using a fluorescent protein. The confocal microscope I used is capable of imaging extremely thin sections of tissue in a non-invasive way so that a 3D picture of the whole structure can be created.

‘I’m absolutely delighted that one of my pictures has been recognised in this way.’

The full image and more details about the edition are available on the Science website.