Colours of the brainbow

April 19, 2011

by Jean Livet, Harvard University

Brainbow-ing involves neurons of the brain being mapped with flourescent proteins, allowing them to glow with specific colours under a light source. By controlling the proteins involved it is possible to give each neuron a different colour.

In 2000 Jeff Lichtman and Joshua Sanes began playing around with the neurons of mice, and after crossing different genetic lines, created mice with three different shades of cells, blue, green and yellow. By 2007 the Brainbow technique was developed.

Tamily Weissman, “Brainbow” transgenic mouse hippocampus (40X)

The Havard Gazette describes the process in full detail if you’re interested.

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