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

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Nature's Scriptorium

Chromatin revealed to be arranged in layers rather than throughout the cell nucleus

19 June 2022

Nature's Scriptorium

DNA is precious. Like an ancient text brought out to be transcribed by monks, once a gene is 'read' – once DNA transcription takes place – the precious code is quickly stowed away in a form called chromatin. In the cell nucleus, like this one from a young fruit fly visualised by live 3D fluorescent image analysis, chromatin is often thought to be bundled up like books shoved in a cupboard, affecting the way DNA is accessed and read. Yet here we see chromatin (highlighted in red) arranged around the nuclear lamina – an inner shell of supportive proteins near the outer ‘envelope’ of the nucleus (green). Researchers superimpose concentric circles inside to highlight the distribution, finding similar patterns in human cells too. That chromatin has kept similar patterns throughout evolution suggests new ways to influence our DNA that might be examined in health and disease.

Written by John Ankers

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 with translations by the University of Valencia.