February 2, 2012
What exactly does a scientist that specializes in muscle do in the lab?  This is an image I took of a “histo block” that I was working on today.  A histo block is a piece of tissue, in this case human muscle, embedded in a type of gel that is stuck to a slim block of cork.  This entire process is the basis of just the histology work that I perform, among many other experiments.  In simple terms, I slice the muscle (the red shape on the image) just as a person who works in a deli slices lunch meat.  The sections that you get are then put on microscope slides and stained for content inside of the muscle.  We currently do 5 stains in our lab:  glycogen, succinate dehydrogenase (complex II of the mitochondrial electron transport chain), capillary density, oil red-O (which stains neutral lipids inside of skeletal muscle), and fiber type staining (yes, we can tell you how many Type I or Type II fibers you have, even Type IIx).  Finally, the images are acquired under a microscope with an attached camera, some under basic light microscopy and others under fluorescent microscopy, for the analyses.  Hope you learned something fun from this.
All the best,
Nick

What exactly does a scientist that specializes in muscle do in the lab?  This is an image I took of a “histo block” that I was working on today.  A histo block is a piece of tissue, in this case human muscle, embedded in a type of gel that is stuck to a slim block of cork.  This entire process is the basis of just the histology work that I perform, among many other experiments.  In simple terms, I slice the muscle (the red shape on the image) just as a person who works in a deli slices lunch meat.  The sections that you get are then put on microscope slides and stained for content inside of the muscle.  We currently do 5 stains in our lab:  glycogen, succinate dehydrogenase (complex II of the mitochondrial electron transport chain), capillary density, oil red-O (which stains neutral lipids inside of skeletal muscle), and fiber type staining (yes, we can tell you how many Type I or Type II fibers you have, even Type IIx).  Finally, the images are acquired under a microscope with an attached camera, some under basic light microscopy and others under fluorescent microscopy, for the analyses.  Hope you learned something fun from this.

All the best,

Nick

  1. hebe-camargo reblogged this from exercisescience
  2. madnessmayhemmischiefmikado reblogged this from exercisescience
  3. exercisescience posted this