A wise old pathologist once told me in the course of my training that everything we see in histology is an "artifact". All the fixation, processing, chemicals and stains that the tissue goes through creates numerous "characteristics" we recognize to make a diagnosis. The blue nuclei, red cytoplasm, clefts, folds, tears, spaces, tangential sections, some "growth patterns", "nuclear characteristics" and "cytoplasmic qualities" are all artifacts. Actually, one could argue everything one visualizes is an "artifact" that your brain perceives and interprets. It may or may not actually be what that object is but you recognize it as something either familiar or unfamiliar to you.
There is an old story about the three baseball umpires, discussing how they make calls. The first said, "I call them as I see them." The second, "I call them as they are." The third, "They ain't nothin' until I call 'em." This story is full of meaning and you could substitute pathologists in place of baseball umpires if you think about it.
However, nothing prepared me for catching this in a recent section in an otherwise unremarkable negative immunohistochemical stain.
Does anyone know this guy?