Eye See You

Eye See You

• Fish eyes continue to grow larger throughout their lives because of stem cells that are concentrated at the ends of the red arcs (nerve tissue) seen in this zebrafish eye. This allows the visual cells of the retina to be repaired and regenerated continuously. The retina is seen wrapped around the lens (green circle with black center) in this cross-section.

• The eye is really an outgrowth of the brain formed during embryo development. Take a look at the orange cells in the eyefield (inset A; ef) pushed to form two lateral bulges by the advancing midline (A-B; blue).

• Humans (and other mammals) lack stem cells in the adult eye although research is focusing on Müller cells, a type of glial cell that may be able to regenerate neurons and photoreceptors lost to disease and injury.

Image source: http://bpod.mrc.ac.uk/archive/2013/3/7

Inset diagram: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/zebrafish-group/research/eye.php


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75 Responses to Eye See You

  1. oh, it`s espectacular view :O

  2. Rajini Rao says:

    judimar solorzano , it’s watching you! 🙂

  3. really Rajini Rao 

  4. Rajini Rao We’re All watching you. Thanks for the wonderful insight into the eye.

  5. Rajini Rao says:

    ‘Morning Shinae Choi Robinson . Don’t be up to your usual shenanigans with this eye watching you 🙂 Hope your move went well!

  6. Rajini Rao says:

    LOL, of course you do. I’m still recovering from that fish snuck in with the battered zucchini that Thomas Kang fed me in Seoul.

  7. Arnav Kalra says:

    What are these green/blue dots? Nerves?

    Are there any chances of the retina getting damaged without touching other parts of their eyes?

  8. Pradeesh Das says:


  9. Rajini Rao says:

    Arnav Kalra , the nerves are in red. The cells around the nerve tissue are the visual cells of the retina (rod and cones) that let us sense light. Millions of people go blind due to retinal diseases: there is diabetic retinopathy which is a complication of diabetes, retinoblastoma which is cancer of the eye, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, etc.

  10. nice section and beautifully stained!

  11. Rajini Rao says:

    Bhavani Kashyap , I agree! Lots more gorgeous images (and information) on this research lab web page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/zebrafish-group/steveIntro.php

  12. What a beautiful image! Have met you once in Chennai at George Thomas Lab when you visited (when I was learning to do a PhD) and my colleague Sam Kuruvilla has worked in your lab for sometime. 🙂

  13. Rajini Rao says:

    Hi Boney Kuriakose , I remember that visit well. I hear from Dr. George Thomas occasionally but have lost touch with Sam since he moved to Bangalore! Do let me know if you have news of either of them. Great to see you here on G+.

  14. Rajini Rao  am regularly in touch wtih George Thomas. He is now working in Kochi as Director of Scigenom, a young genomics company (http://www.scigenom.com/).  Sam is doing his Postdoc with Prof. M.K. Mathew at NCBS Bangalore.

  15. Rajini Rao says:

    Good to know, thanks! I will look up Sam the next time I’m in B’lore. I’ve visited him at the Mathew lab before when he was still finishing up his marathon PhD 🙂

  16. 🙂 He’s done with it and got married earlier this year!

  17. Rajini Rao says:

    Whhhaaat? That’s great news, thanks Boney Kuriakose 🙂 If you get a chance do ask him to drop me an email sometime.

  18. bill ogle says:

    hold up hold up hold up hold up hold up what is that again

  19. Rajini Rao says:

    Did not know that goldfish live that long, Ilene Smith . Thanks 🙂

  20. happy hkv says:

    Big brother’s watching you Rajini Rao

  21. Rajini Rao says:

    Sorry to hear that, Greta Kirstin . Indeed, I hope that medical advances will help reverse the damage some day.

  22. Gaythia Weis says:

    Rajini Rao This is intriguing information.  My mother suffered from damaged eyesight due to a detached retina.  An ability to foster some regeneration would be a wonderful thing.

  23. So Miodrag Milić , could this lead to ideas on fixing colour blindness?  I can only see one or 2 numbers on a page full of colour test images… 

  24. Panah Rad says:

    fascinating topic 🙂

  25. Rajini Rao   Interesting as always. I am eager to know if you can throw some light on T – Cells, Inflammation, Immunity,neuro-immunology, etc.,

  26. Gaythia Weis says:

    R Prakash Prakash isn’t asking Rajini Rao for much!  (but we all eagerly await future posts).

  27. WWAHT…. IS…THAT?!?!?!

  28. Rajini Rao says:

    Checking in between work on this post and I’m astonished at all the “what is it” questions. It’s a fish eye, folks.

    Thanks, Gaythia Weis 😉 BTW, hope your mom is doing well now. Retinal detachments are scary.

  29. Gaythia Weis says:

    Unfortunately my mother has passed away. It is good to know that science may be better able to help others with this problem though.

  30. Thank you for this! I do hope we will, as has been mentioned, be able to apply this to human eyes someday. 

  31. Clair S. Voyant , me too, to be honest.

  32. rob M. says:

    gr8 info & images, i’ll have to share w/ folks!

  33. george m. says:

    keep them coming girl.

  34. Beautiful images!  I love discussions on the eye, it always starts with planaria, and the eyespot.   

  35. Rajini Rao says:

    BiologyCorner , actually I don’t know much about the eyespot. Sounds intriguing. I’ll look it up, feel free to share a link or info. 

  36. The eyspot of the planarian isn’t thought to be able to form images, just detect light and dark. Our experiments on planarian include tests to determine if it is photosensitive.  The final step of the project is to slice the planarian in half, right between those eyespots.  If performed properly, the planarian will grow two heads and then split completely into two.  The planarian also has this weird cross-eyed appearance that gives it a certain character.


  37. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks for the explanation, BiologyCorner . Photoreception appears to be the most ancient of sensory functions in metazoans. By comparison, Hydra have light sensitive cells in their cnidocytes, but they are not organized into an eyespot (http://goo.gl/myGfI). Oh, I loved the “cross eyed” planaria in the link 🙂

  38. Hi, Rajni,

    wishing you Happy women’s Day.

  39. Rajini Rao says:

    How nice, thanks so much harshad yagnik !

  40. Rajini Rao Mam please allow me to share your wonderful photo collection

  41. Susan LaDuke says:

    Thanks for this post. Reminded me of many years ago, (won’t say how many) during my Opthamology rotation, I was grossed out for any of the surgical procedures because the eye was always staring back. Even Cataract surgery was problematic for me, but photos are OK.

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