The mammalian brain is built from many kinds of neurons. A new study reveals a holistic way to look at them.
Published in Brain/Neurology.
Using a technique that simultaneously captures different kinds of features from each cell, researchers lay groundwork for a “family tree” of the brain.
A technique that captures information about a neuron’s 3D shape, electrical properties, and its genes is giving scientists a new way to look at cell types in the mouse brain and the relationship between them — described in this illustration as a ‘family tree’ of neurons. Illustration by Benedicte Rossi.
A new lens on visual neurons is laying the groundwork for a more complete “family tree” of the mammalian brain. A team of researchers from the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a division of the Allen Institute, published a study — the largest of its kind to date — in the journal Cell today revealing a new categorization of mouse neurons that relies on multiple types of data drawn from each individual cell.
Just as biologists sketch evolutionary trees whose branches represent the development of different species and the relationships between them, some scientists now look to cells to draw another kind of family tree. This tree describes not the millions of species that inhabit our planet, but the millions of neurons that make up the kumquat-sized brain of the lab mouse.