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Brainbow is a term coined to describe a process by which individual neurons of a brain are mapped with fluorescent proteins, which allow the neurons to glow with specfic colors under a light source. By controlling the amount of red, green, and blue proteins, it is possible to map each neuron with a distinctive color, much in the way that a video monitor can display a large number of colors.

The technique was developed in the Spring of 2007 by a team led by Jeff W. Lichtman and Joshua R. Sanes, both professors in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. While earlier techniques allowed for mapping only a few neurons, the new method allows more than 100 differently mapped neurons can be simulataneously mapped in this manner.[1] The resulting images can be quite striking and in fact have resulted in one of the team members winning an award in a Science Photography competition.[2]


  1. ^ - "Neuroscience Researchers Expand Usage of ‘Brainbow’ Technology," Harvard Crimson, November 2, 2007.
  2. ^ - "Colours light up brain structure," Nature News, October 31, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brainbow". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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