It's worth coding six weeks

Since some time I work on the image processing of fluorescent images of embryonic sea urchin cells during their first division cycles. Sounds dry? It's amazing! You see actual cells and some fascinating details with fluorescent microscopy (e. g. the two new nuclei forming!).

 Intensities of a symmetric cell shape after dividing into four quarters. (I can't display all the data, sorry, it's not public.)

We focus on the actin concentration during the division since actin is one of the most important structural proteins in the cell membrane. Knowing, where actin is, might shed light on a higher activity and forces which are responsible for the shape the cell has.

In other words: Hold a elastic ball or maybe even better a piece of putt and form a sphere. Now try to push it in the middle and get two approximately spherical pieces out of it. And that's what's happening in the cell, but there are no mini-fingers pushing anything, the cell does it itself... over and over again!

Today I processed an image which resulted in the intensity plots in the image up there. It might look very unspectacular, but it took some time and effort to track the right points. After processing more images we might be able to make a general statement - and publish a paper! Only the image processing (getting the cell membrane coordinates) might be worth one :-)