This colorful web is the most complete look yet at a fruit fly’s brain cells | Science News

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This colorful web is the most complete look yet at a fruit fly’s brain cells

Scientists compiled 21 million images of the noggin of Drosophila melanogaster

By
11:44am, July 19, 2018
fruit fly brain map

BRAINBOW  Scientists have imaged the fruit fly brain in new detail. Colors highlight the paths of nerve cells that have been mapped so far. 

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

A high

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