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Bloom where you are planted

Winner - Viewer's Choice, More than Meets the Eye

These are no ordinary flowers! They are actually a group of aggregating cells, namely a colony of gonocytes, germ cells in the newborn testis that after maturity give rise to sperm. When grown in culture, gonocytes will exhibit various types of cytoplasmic extensions appearing as leaf-like, finger-like or bulges that act as 'limbs' that assist their migration toward each other to form this flowery-like colony. These attributes are crucial in ensuring their survival. Failure to migrate will lead to their death. This research will provide valuable insight into how male germline cells develop and it has implications for preserving male fertility. The image was taken using scanning electron microscopy and was colorized to highlight the formation.
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