In Nature Methods from July, Xi Long and colleagues from the Howard Hughes Medicale Institute Janelia Research Campus (Ashburn, Virginia, USA) have developed a RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to study brain development and function, which require the expression of select genes at specific times in appropriate neurons.

We describe a fluorescence in situ hybridization method that permits detection of the localization and abundance of single mRNAs (smFISH) in cleared whole-mount adult Drosophila brains. The approach is rapid and multiplexable and does not require molecular amplification; it allows facile quantification of mRNA expression with subcellular resolution on a standard confocal microscope. We further demonstrate single-mRNA detection across the entire brain using a custom Bessel beam structured illumination microscope (BB-SIM).

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Zebrafish brain firing

Ever wanted to see the activity of the neurons from a almost entire brain ? 10 days ago, Vladimirov et al. described how they have used light-sheet microscopy to record the activity of nearly every neuron in the larval zebrafish brain as the animal responded to sensory stimuli.

You can see it by looking at this wonderfull video.

Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy allow to illuminate a thin slice of the sample, perpendicularly to the direction of the observation.

From Vladimirov, N. et al. Light-sheet functional imaging in behaving zebrafish. Nature Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.3040 (27 July 2014)



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