In any creature with eyes, optic fibers serve as speedways of information between the retina and the brain. To take this photo of the ocular highway in a healthy mouse, scientists at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research in San Diego used a laser scanning microscope, capturing the colors of cellular components stained with vibrant dyes. Optic nerve fibers (red) form the ocular roads, glial cells (green) wrap around them for protection and blood vessels (blue) bring them oxygen and other nutrients. Images like this help researchers understand how tumors can affect these tissues, and how best to fight the unwanted growths.
[This story originally appeared in print as "The Ocular Highway."]