If you can’t see something, how do you know it is there? In my research, I rely on my ability to take pictures of neurons making connections with each other and other types of cells. What I know to be the truth about these connections, is based on only what I can see through the microscope. I was reminded just how little we can actually “see” by a recent paper in the journal Science.
This new paper used newer imaging technology called STORM (STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy), which enhances imaging by only exciting and imaging a few individual fluorescent molecules at a time. This prevents groups of fluorescent molecules from distorting fine detail by forming a large bright fuzzy cloud. The Harvard scientists saw that a structural protein, Actin, actually forms rings around the axons of neurons.(!) Up until now, the organization of actin in the axons and dendrites has been a mystery. Continue reading “Don’t stop believing, until you see it”