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The Art in Science

Product Image Sizing Me Up

Sizing Me Up

Shannon Davis, Postdoctoral Fellow (Camper Lab), Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School

The pituitary gland is called the Master Gland because it regulates many of our bodily functions, including growth, reproductions, and stress response. People are sometimes born with pituitary defects that prevent the production of some of the hormones that the pituitary produces. These people are often very small because of a lack of growth hormone, which is made in the pituitary gland. Other people become excessively tall because tumors in the pituitary produce too much growth hormone. Scientists in our laboratory seek to understand how the pituitary gland forms in mice to better understand what happens when problems occur in human pituitaries. This is a picture of a mouse pituitary gland that is making a protein that must be present for the pituitary gland to make growth hormone and other pituitary hormones. The original image was duplicated and flipped to produce an image that resembles a moth.