You've probably heard of experiments where scientists create stem cells out of other kinds of cells. Now, you can actually see what that looks like. Here, you can see the work of University of Cambridge neuroscientist Yichen Shi, who has turned ordinary human skin cells into neural stem cells that, in the future, we might transplant into somebody's brain to cure disorders like Alzheimer's.

Says Shi:

[Here are] brain neural stem cells derived from human skin cells. These stem cells express typical marker genes of brain neocortical stem cells, such as Pax6 (in red), and form a rosette structure resembling the transection of the neural tube.


The entire image is about 250 μm across (a really thick bit of human hair)

Picture taken by Yichen Shi in the Livesey Lab.

Voiceover by Fred Lewsey. Music by Peter Nickalls.

This is the twelfth in a series of videos called Under the Microscope, which io9 is posting in partnership with scientists at University of Cambridge. Under the Microscope is a collection of videos that capture glimpses of the natural and artificial world in stunning close-up. They will be released every Monday and Thursday for the next couple of months, and you can see the whole series here.

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