Zebrafish brainbow bioscape


This beautiful image of the brain of a 5-day-old zebrafish larva, which was created by Albert Pan of Harvard University, has just won 4th place in the 2008 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging competition. (See a larger version here.)

It was created using the Brainbow technique, a genetic method for labelling neurons, with which individual cells can be made to express a random combination of fluorescent proteins. An image of a mouse brainstem labelled using the same method was awarded 1st prize in last year's competition.

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This image of the brainstem of a Brainbow mouse, by Jean Livet of Harvard University, has just been awarded 1st prize in the 2007 Olympus Bioscapes International Digital Imaging Competition.
Researchers from Harvard University have developed a remarkable genetic technique that enabled them to visualize complete neuronal circuits in unprecedented detail, by using multiple distinct colours to label individual neurons. The technique, called Brainbow, works in much the same way as a…
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An electric violin, zebrafish style. The photographer could change his surname to Panchromatic.
The aesthetic element maintained here is only one of the reasons to visit, but not a minor one. It may not be optogenetic therapy, but it is optic therapy to be surprised by images of amazing and beautiful realities.

Yeah...stuff like this is why I hate it when people maintain that "biology is just applied chemistry." While entirely composed of chemistry and physics, nothing in either discipline hints at the exquisite complexity that biology doles out in droves, thanks to it's patron saint / chief apostle / god-emperor, evolution. Evolution alone can beat back entropy and disorder with the metal baseball bat of statistics...at least for a while...and stuff like this proves it.