The Huge Image: a better take a look at stay rodent nerve cells

The Big Picture: a closer look at live rodent nerve cells

What you are taking a look at up above is not a loopy anaglyph 3D picture. Properly, a minimum of not deliberately. It is truly the results of a decade-previous tagging technique that researchers on the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Italy at the moment are utilizing in stay mice. The tactic, referred to as SNAP-tagging, makes use of proteins that latch onto particular chemical buildings and do not let go. To discover rodent nerves, researchers genetically engineered the mice to supply SNAP proteins after which injected the vermin with fluorescent probes that the proteins would connect to. This enables them to be adopted by way of the physique with a microscope. For instance, within the image above, the thick blue strains are hairs and the pink bundles are nerves.

The last word aim is to place the SNAP tags into particular person neurons and watch the trail that info takes by way of the mind, nerve by nerve, as the topic’s pores and skin is stimulated. Fairly cool, yeah? A handful of further photographs are on the supply hyperlink under.

[Image credit: EMBL / Castaldi]

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The Big Picture: a closer look at live rodent nerve cells

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