Scientists compiled 21 million images of the noggin of Drosophila melanogaster
Full Adult Fly Tracing Community, Philipp Schlegel/Drosophila Connectomics Group/Univ. of Cambridge
If the secret to getting the perfect photo is taking a lot of shots, then one lucky fruit fly is the subject of a masterpiece.
Using high-speed electron microscopy, scientists took 21 million nanoscale-resolution images of the brain of Drosophila melanogaster to capture every one of the 100,000 nerve cells that it contains. It’s the first time the entire fruit fly brain has been imaged in this much detail, researchers report online July 19 in Cell.
Experimental neurobiologists can now use the rich dataset as a road map to figure out which neurons talk to each other in the fly’s brain, says study coauthor Davi Bock, a neurobiologist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Va.
Learning to fly