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BSI Flies The Fly and the Brain
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Our brains contain many different neuron types that are wired together to build intricate neural circuits.
Each neuron sends many process called dendrites that collect information input into the neuron. Dendrites are highly branched and have a tree-like shape that we call an arbor. Different types of neurons have different characteristic dendrite arbor shapes that reflect their different functions. How is neuron diversity generated, how do different neuron types make specific dendrite arbor shapes, and how do they know which partners to connect to? For our studies we use two model organisms in which we can do powerful genetic manipulations of neurons; these are the fruit fly and the mouse. To study how dendrite shape is controlled we use a glowing molecule, such as Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), to see the results our genetic manipulations. You can see images of glowing and genetically-manipulated neurons in our web site gallery. For a more in-depth explanation of our research and projects available in the lab, please click the RESEARCH link.

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