Friday, July 20, 2018

Fruit Fly Brain on View

Image result for fruit fly

Environmental & Science Education
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler

An equation for seeing the structure of a brain: Two high-speed electron microscopes. 7,062 brain slices. 21 million images.

In the end, for a team of scientists at the Howard Huges Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia the numbers added up to a technical first: a high resolution-digital snapshot of the adult fruit fly brain.

The research report is hot off the press, July 19, 2018 and is found in the journal Cell.**

The press release which explains the research includes three videos, one is about the work and the other two are more technical. What is missing from the equation above are the calalysts that made this happen. Scores and scores of talented women and men.

It reminds me of the history of medicine: structure to be followed by function (biochemistry, neurophysiology and disciplines of which I am unaware).

** Zhihao Zheng*, J. Scott Lauritzen*, Eric Perlman, Camenzind G. Robinson, Matthew Nichols, Daniel Milkie, Omar Torrens, John Price, Corey B. Fisher, Nadiya Sharifi, Steven A. Calle-Schuler, Lucia Kmecova, Iqbal J. Ali, Bill Karsh, Eric T. Trautman, John A. Bogovic, Philipp Hanslovsky, Gregory S. X. E. Jefferis, Michael Kazhdan, Khaled Khairy, Stephan Saalfeld, Richard D. Fetter, Davi D. Bock, “A complete electron microscopy volume of the brain of adult Drosophila melanogaster,” Cell. Published online July 19, 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.06.019 
* These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

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