Medescape

Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

Brainbow

This is a year old bit of news, but the images are just so stunning, so I feel obliged to post them here. Scientists have found a way to colour neurons with 90 distinguishable colours using fluorescent proteins. The method uses three fluorescent proteins, cyan, red and yellow, to produce these colours, kinda like a tv monitor. The genes for the fluorescent proteins were bundled up in “DNA-packages” and inserted into the genome of developing mice. When the cells subsequently developed, different cells would express the different genes to a varying degree, thus creating a lot of different colours. These colour genes are ultimately activated by another gene, called Cre, which the researchers derived from bacteria. So, when observed with a fluorescent microscope, these fantastic images could be taken.

Cortical neurons. (Can anyone spot the pyramidal cells?)

More pictures inside.

From an auditory nucleus in the brain stem. 

 

One brain stem neuron (in red).

 

From the hippocampus. 

 

From the cerebellum.

 

Axons.

 

All images were found here

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October 11, 2008 - Posted by | General Science, Medicine | , , , , , , , , , ,

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