June 21, 2011

Tiny Worm Helps Unlock Secrets of the Brain

Nicholas Wade, NY Times


In an eighth-floor laboratory overlooking the East River, Cornelia I. Bargmann watches two colleagues manipulate a microscopic roundworm. They have trapped it in a tiny groove on a clear plastic chip, with just its nose sticking into a channel. Pheromones — signaling chemicals produced by other worms — are being pumped through the channel, and the researchers have genetically engineered two neurons in the worm’s head to glow bright green if a neuron responds.

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TAGGED: Neuroscience, Behavior, Connectome, Brain, Brain Map, Brain Circuits, Worms, Neurons, Caenorhabditis Elegans


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