Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Brain mapping by barcode

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Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 1001-1002
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6303.1001-g

Mapping how neurons functionally connect over long distances promises to offer important insights into brain function. Although optical and fluorescent labeling techniques have provided key information, Kebschull et al. report a new approach called MAPseq that capitalizes on the high throughput of nucleic acid sequencing. A viral vector is used to deliver multiple barcoded RNA fragments into individual neurons. The neurons then transport individual RNA barcodes into the axons that they extend, where they can be recovered, allowing for the mapping of thousands of single neuron projections. To test the system, the authors mapped the projections from individual neurons of the locus coeruleus, a region of the brain that provides noradrenaline to the neocortex.

Neuron 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.07.036 (2016).

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