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Article from Bulletin/Magazine
The Economist (http://search.proquest.com/) vol. 391 no. 8626 (Apr. 2009)
Perpustakaan Pusat (Semanggi)
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Lihat Detail Induk
WHEN last year’s Nobel prize for chemistry was awarded to the discoverers of green fluorescent protein, the pages of newspapers (this one included) lit up with photographs of “brainbows”. Jeff Lichtman, the neurobiologist who created those pictures, had used the discovery to invent a way to tag nerve cells with genes whose products fluoresce green, red and blue. By mixing these three hues in different proportions he was able to “paint” the cells in question in more than a hundred different colours. Besides looking pretty, the resulting pictures allow the numerous protrusions of individual nerve cells that connect those cells together to be followed through the labyrinth that constitutes the average brain. Dr Lichtman hopes to use his brainbow mice to answer questions about neurological development, such as why the nerve cells of babies have far more connections than do those of adults. That could shed light on what happens when the wiring gets connected wrongly and, as it were, blows a neurological fuse. Such faulty wiring—connectopathies, in the jargon—may be the underlying explanation of such disorders as autism and schizophrenia.
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