We have previously covered Brainbow, a collection of one-of-a-kind, colorful images of the myriad connections in the brain and nervous system obtained through the use of unique color fluorescing proteins. Professors Jeff Lichtman and Josh Sanes, leaders of the Brainbow initiative, taught this author neurobiology at Harvard. I remember being amazed at the beautiful pictures of neuronal collections that gave life to a sometimes dull topic. Now, as reported in a May 5 paper in Nature Methods, the team behind Brainbow made a host of technical improvements in the imaging technique to yield more informative and visually even more remarkable pictures. According to a recent press release:
“These modifications aim to overcome some of the more problematic features of the original genetic constructs,” Lichtman said. “Lead author Dawen Cai, a research associate in our labs, worked hard and creatively to find ways to make the ‘Brainbow’ colors brighter, more variable, and useable in situations where the original gene constructs were hard to implement. Our first look at these animals suggests that these improvements are fantastic.”
The result: a collection of images that is longer-lasting and more distinctive than previous versions.
Link: Brainbow Overview…
Nature Methods paper: Improved tools for the Brainbow toolbox
Harvard press release: ‘Brainbow,’ version 2.0