Australian researchers at the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research were investigating how the protein beta-catenin invades a cell’s nucleus and causes it to become cancerous, when they spotted the protein apparently mocking them.
The circle is the cell’s nucleus as the protein moves in, and the dark spots are where the protein is blocked. The smiley face doesn’t surprise me; we’re hardwired to see faces and familiar shapes everywhere we look (click the tag marked “pareidolia” — the psych term for this — under this post to see lots of examples). Heck, I spotted one in a supernova once…
And I certainly hope this research yields insight into how to fight cancer. I’d love to see that smirk wiped off that nucleus’s face.