Another beautiful image from brain science

Y’all know how much I like the beautiful images coming from neuroimaging and microscopy of the brain. Here’s one that was posted recently at the website BrainFacts.org, showing (in green) cells in mouse motor cortex expressing a gene transcription factor called Fezf2. The grey cells show what changes come about in cell structure after Fezf2 is expressed in the cell, putting out long, branching extensions called dendrites (from the Greek δένδρον, or “tree”). Dendrites are the part of the neuron that receives incoming signals from other neurons. When the dendritic tree expands and branches, it increases the cell’s capacity to make connections with, and be influenced by, other neurons.

But I’m really just posting this because it’s pretty. Ain’t it just?


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