BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Growing Nervous
08 January 2013

Growing Nervous

Hunger leads animals to travel vast distances in search of food. It can even dislodge a human being from that cosy spot on the sofa in the middle of a great tv show. Cells have similarly evolved to migrate towards a food source. Nerve growth factor (NGF), discovered by the late Nobel laureate and centenarian Rita Levi-Montalcini, is the cuisine of choice for neurons. So powerful is its appeal, it can even induce some cells to transform into neurons, which may help treat disorders where the nervous system deteriorates. Scientists working with Levi-Montalcini showed that human NGF can be manufactured in large amounts, for potential use as a drug. Growing nervous tissue in the presence of either artificial NGF (pictured right) or natural NGF (pictured left), showed that the manmade stuff works just as well as Nature's own. In both cases cells transformed into neurons, extending long processes called neurites.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.