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

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Pituitary organoid reveals how the activated state of the maturing gland is established and regulated

23 August 2022

Wonder Gland

“All models are wrong, some are useful” said statistician George Box – we might say something similar about living models like organoids. Grown in a lab from stem cells, this mouse organoid mimics the early development of the pituitary gland. While it’s not an exact copy, fluorescent markers highlight stem cells (red) and pituitary proteins (green), as a high-powered microscope zooms through different levels of cells (all highlighted in blue). Researchers examine the organoid in ways that would be impossible in the real organ – using growth factors to guide the tissue’s growth, or watching as stem cells react to heal damage. The real gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of our brains, produces several essential hormones. Watching how groups of stem cells work in these organoids gives useful clues to how the it might go awry in mice and humans alike.

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.