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Brief Published: 7 Mar 2011

Fruit Fly Neurone Technique Produces Vivid Visuals


Scientists from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have recently increased our knowledge of how the fruit fly’s brain functions by genetically engineering the insect’s neurones to include fluorescent proteins.

The technique – pioneered four years ago using mice – has been improved to allow for the production of up to 100 different colours, each assigned to a specific neurone. This enables researchers to trace individual signal paths in minute detail.

The resulting diagrams are visually stunning and suggest a new direction for the use of colour, both in science and design.