We at Webvision would like to wish you the very best this holiday season. As in past years, we like to post an image from retinal science that is somehow evocative of the Holiday Season and this year, Gabe Luna from the Steve Fisher / Geoff Lewis laboratory delivers a stunning image of astrocytes in a retinal flat mount, but with a twist… We think you’ll be seeing more of Gabe’s beautiful imagery, but for now, here is his description of how he made this image:
“I used a GFAP-GFP mouse to identify all the astrocytes in the retina and manually (at the time it was manual) annotate their coordinates, then we used a probabilistic random-walk algorithm to go to each “cell center” and perform a segmentation result of that one astrocyte. Once all the 5,000 or so cells are segmented as a greyscale image of the individual cell, then they are assigned various hues that are spectrally distinct and the montage is re-assembled into one large image. The image there is a grossly down-sized image of the original. The original was a seamless mosaic of 412 individual z-stacks of about 15 planes at 1 micron intervals, using a 40x oil immersion lens.”
The artist Sargy Mann has painted most of his life, but in his mid-30s, progressive development of cataracts followed by retinal detachments and corneal perforations brought complete blindness. However, Sargy Mann continued to paint, developing an amazing collection of work that has encompassed landscapes, still life work and his latest work, standing figures. The BBC has done a wonderful interview with Sargy linked above.
There is also a longer mini-documentary by Peter Mann that documents the process of how Sargy Mann produces a painting that is well worth your time.
The Moran Eye Center travels globally as one of their missions for International Outreach and provides eye care in remote places around the world that are medically underserved from an ophthalmology perspective.
This is a short video showing the Moran Eye Center setting up an eyecamp in Salma, Guatemala on Dec. 9th. This includes moving furniture at the detination, cleaning, and setting up surgical equipment, operating tables, microscopes, and other allied equipment. This effort involves months of planning and ultimately the goal is to improve or restore vision in over 250 patients who travel from all over Guatemala to receive free care.
We’ve talked about the research funding crisis before here on Webvision with linked editorials, and discussions of the 2015 funding environment. Increasingly, private foundations are becoming more critical to the survival of laboratories given the dramatic reduction in federal funding of research. Typically, these kinds of funding resources are not enough to completely run a lab, but they help smooth out the bumps, keeping scientists in the game.
We have compiled for you a list of non-federal vision research funding resources for you to explore. I wish my colleagues good luck and good science.