PerspectiveCell Biology

Cell types behaving in their natural habitat

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Science  16 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6416, pp. 749-750
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav4841

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Summary

A full understanding of a complex system is difficult, perhaps impossible, to accomplish without an inventory of the components involved. When that system is an organ in an organism, the parts list becomes a census of cell types, including their identity, number, location, and function. On page 792 of this issue, Moffitt et al. (1) demonstrate an advanced method for in situ profiling of gene expression within the preoptic region of the intact mouse hypothalamus. Their approach not only yields a census of cell types in this region of the brain, but also assesses which cell types are activated during certain behaviors. This region of the brain is involved in the regulation of homeostasis and social behaviors such as aggression, sex, and parenting.

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