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The Art in Science

Product Image Van Gogh's Skin

Van Gogh's Skin

Mark Hutchin, M.D., House Officer, Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical School

This image shows a basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. The top portion shows the normal skin surface of a mouse, which stains red with this special stain (Masson trichrome stain). The blue is collagen, a strong fibrous substance that provides structural support for the skin. The appearance of human skin is very similar to this. At the bottom of the image, red staining tumor cells are seen. The yellow has been added for visual interest by the artist. By studying the development of tumors in the mouse, we hope to learn how to prevent the formation of similar tumors in humans.