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Nerves as never before


Unprecedentedly detailed images of mouse neurons thanks to new technique

The riot of colour before your eyes provides a glimpse at another sense: touch.

Image credit: EMBL/L.Castaldi

When something brushes a mouse’s skin, or the temperature around it changes, this bundle of nerves relays that information from touch receptors on the skin to the spinal cord and ultimately the brain, where it can be processed and acted upon.

Neurons involved in sensing light touch are shown in green, and two different types of nerve cell involved in sensing pain are labelled red and blue.

The image was obtained through a novel technique developed by Paul Heppenstall’s lab at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy, which enables researchers to explore tissues in mice in much greater detail than ever before.

Published online in Nature Methods on 8 December 2014. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3207.

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***High resolution images available upon request.***

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