Brainbow

img_lrg/rainbow.jpg not found

© Jeff Lichtman, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University.

A research team at Harvard University has developed mice with brains that light up in a rainbow of colors. They developed a DNA sequence that codes for colorful fluorescent proteins, and inserted it into the mouse's genome in a way that causes the color of each nerve cell to be selected at random. The image on the left shows the intricate structure of the mouse's cerebellum. In the center, we see a portion of the brain's cortex. In the brainbow images, it is possible to trace the path of each neuron through its complex branching structure to create treelike images like the one on the right. (Unit: 9)