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When Robert Hooke first viewed slices of cork in his microscope in the 1660’s, he was reminded of the small rooms called “cells” in a monastery. He was actually observing plant cells, and he meticulously recorded his observations with hand drawings, and published them in his book Micrographia in 1665—a bestseller of its time, and where the word “cell” was first used in a biological context. Fast-forward to today, and biologists are still viewing many different types of cells including sections of plant cells (pictured here)—some of them rather spooky-looking—with a multitude of modern microscopes like the confocal microscope used here. Happy Halloween!!!
The image shows a cross section through the triangular stem of the yellow nut sedge found on Janelia campus. It is stained with two cellulose-binding fluorescent dyes in blue-green and red. Magnification ~100x.
Igor Siwanowicz, PhD, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus