Brainbow Mice

Arnoud van den Heuvel
November 1st 2007

brainbow mouse
In the 1960s, scientists found that a particular jellyfish makes a protein that glows, known as green fluorescent protein. In the 1990s, using genetic engineering, researchers found that they could take the gene that makes GFP and insert it into the DNA of other cells. This makes different parts of the cell glow - and thus easier to see in a microscope - depending on where the gene is placed.

To go short, Jean Livet, Jeff Lichtman and their collaborators at Harvard University were able to genetically alter mice so their neurons produce fluorescent proteins, and each cell produces a random combination of the colors yellow, red, and cyan. These colors mix, the way the basic colors of a television screen mix to produce a range of hues. Images can be taken in living mice, and the genetic engineering does not harm them. To celebrate this, the scientists decided to appropriately name the species: Brainbow Mice.

guardian.co.uk/science | technologyreview.com | boston.com | www.rsc.org/chemistryworld | nature.com
Related posts: Supermouse experiment | No Transparent Frog | Brain Biometric Key | Brain-computer Interface for Second Life

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pascal
Posted 02/11/2007 – 03:51

now that's nice. I'd like to see it in combination with the see-through frogs (and without the hair).
Oh I'd just love to have a brain-glow-in-the-dark translucent mouse as a pet...

Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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