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Somewhere, over the brainbow...
November 1, 2007 3:09 AM   Subscribe

Brainbow. Using some very cool genetic tricks, Harvard scientists have found a way to make transgenic mice that express various mixtures of different coloured fluorescent proteins in their neurons. The result, individual brain cells with up to 90 distinct colours. Not surprisingly, this visually impressive work is in this month's issue of Nature.
posted by kisch mokusch (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I work for a company that produces stereology and neuroscience software. I knew about fluorescent stains, but this is just fascinating to me! Thank for the link!
posted by paddbear at 3:14 AM on November 1, 2007


Also: Abstract, editor's summary, and full text for people with access privileges.
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:23 AM on November 1, 2007


i wish they had whole-brain cross-sections/ 3-d views...it would be interesting to see if the large scale patterns look anything like some of these
posted by sexyrobot at 3:37 AM on November 1, 2007


i wish they had whole-brain cross-sections/ 3-d views...

You wish. Leave the poor mice alone and drop some acid instead.
posted by three blind mice at 4:45 AM on November 1, 2007


Eminently useful.
posted by DU at 4:53 AM on November 1, 2007


That is really cool! Thanks for providing the full-text links; I will have to find out if the neurosurgeon I am working with today has seen them.
posted by TedW at 5:08 AM on November 1, 2007


"Obviously just a pigment of the imagination."

This is fantastic.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:20 AM on November 1, 2007


Brainbeau?
posted by jtron at 6:01 AM on November 1, 2007


You wish. Leave the poor mice alone and drop some acid instead.
posted by three blind mice


Eponysterical?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:28 AM on November 1, 2007


Whatever the utility, that is some of this most beautiful art I've seen. It is a real reflection of the brain, just as art is a reflection of the mind of the creator.
posted by stbalbach at 7:36 AM on November 1, 2007


This is just awesome. I think I'll present it to my lab on Monday.
posted by gaspode at 7:39 AM on November 1, 2007


Sexyrobot: The way this works is that each cell has a random color, so whilst this is an exciting technique for following the paths of individual neurons and whatnot, you'd not expect there to be a higher order pattern. A whole-brain image would just look like the average of all the available colors - presumably white. But what incredibly beautiful pictures. I'm trying to imagine a useful way to incorporate this technique into my own work.
posted by nowonmai at 8:04 AM on November 1, 2007


Those are some mighty tasty looking photos. Thanks much. What's for desert?

The beauty aside, I confess I am not entirely comfortable with advances in this science. My brain/mind/thoughts are my final fortress. Any notion of it's potential breach is disturbing. I hate being any kind of ludite. I respect science, deeply. But if we get to the point we can no longer be secure in our minds, humanity itself is lost.

But such fascinating science, none the less.
posted by Goofyy at 9:39 AM on November 1, 2007


This is awesome. Lichtman and Sanes are really good at what they do and this paper just takes it to the next level. The images are beautiful, the technique is elegant, and it's a very powerful tool.
posted by pombe at 9:48 AM on November 1, 2007


Brainbow slideshow.
posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM on November 2, 2007


New Brain Cells Listen Before They Talk
posted by homunculus at 4:33 PM on November 2, 2007


Concert music controlled by audience brainwaves
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on November 4, 2007


Short term vs long term meditation on attention and delta waves
posted by homunculus at 11:44 PM on November 4, 2007


First Prize at the Olympus BioScapes 2007 Digital Imaging Competition.
posted by homunculus at 8:50 AM on November 28, 2007


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