It is now possible to depict a fly fly in just a few days, according to a new study – this may sound like but it's actually an incredible achievement when you think the process will otherwise take weeks. Brains are not easy to study – for example, the human brain contains over 80 billion cells linked by 7,000 each link, according to a new study published in Science. Even far smaller brain brains are incredibly challenging to study thoroughly. The new study combines two microscopy imaging and brain exploration microscopes, as never before.
"This is a new tool that tries to understand the biological tissue, not in a cellular context, but in a full multicellular high resolution context. "Eric Betzig, Nobel Prize physicist and laureate at Gunnelia Research University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, told Gizmo. Researchers combined two types of microscopy called extension microscopy and microscopy with grid light sheets to depict the fly's brain. Expanding microscopy involves first marking interesting features in a sample of fluorescent proteins and then binding them to a polymer gel. The enzyme assimilates tissues, and scientists then add water, which leads to polymer growth and preserves the form marked by fluorescent proteins. In this case, they grew four times.
But the study is not able to create such images of human brains, he explained. Betzig. They extend the method to (and successfully depict small bits) of mouse brains, but fly flies against mouse brains are the equivalent of "moving from a mud hut to an Empire State Building," he said.
Researchers believe they will soon be able to reproduce numerous flying brains quickly and with incredible resolution. This is exciting, mainly because the brain may vary from the individual and the comparison of many brains can potentially teach us more about how these amazing feats of biology really work.