• Question: what is your favourite cell in the body that you like studying

    Asked by guardian to Alison, Becky, Connie, Gemma, John Robert, Sara on 22 Jan 2014.
    • Photo: Constanze Ochmann

      Constanze Ochmann answered on 22 Jan 2014:

      Hmmmh, that is a tricky question, there are many cells I find really interesting. At some point I wanted to study olfactory sensory neurons. These neurons that basically connect your nose to the brain and help you smell chocolates and flowers and many not so nice things…
      I did not in the end, instead I know work on cells that make us feel pain, which is also very interesting and really important- because so many of us feel pain and many need to take drugs to make them feel better, so we really need to understand how pain works.

      My favourite cells that I loved studying were muscle cells. Because in order to form our muscle fibers, single cells have to come together and fuse to form one big, long cell or one myotube… and they look so amazing under the microscope when you label their components in different colours, like perfectly striped tubes…. beautyful!

    • Photo: Gemma Swiers

      Gemma Swiers answered on 22 Jan 2014:

      My current research is trying to understand how we make blood stem cells, so I would have to say that my favourite cell is a blood stem cell.

      A blood stem cell is a really cool cell because it is able to make all the different blood cells in the body like the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets (the things that stop you from bleeding if you cut yourself).

    • Photo: John Robert Davis

      John Robert Davis answered on 24 Jan 2014:

      I don’t have one favourite cell but I like cells that can easily be imaged whilst still inside an animal. This is called in vivo imaging. Some great examples are Drosophila hemocytes (which I work with), skin cells (also called epithelial cells) and nerve cells.