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Sneak peek into the nanoworld of brain cells

Sneak peek into the nanoworld of brain cells

Image: Protein essential for neuronal communication viewed via super-resolution microscopy.

Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), with support from the Australian Research Council, are among the first in neuroscience to see the brain’s tiniest molecules in action and plot their movements. Professor Fred Meunier’s laboratory at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute has developed a breakthrough technique in super-resolution microscopy. “The technique will be revolutionary for neuroscientists and cell biologists,” said Professor Meunier. “This is an exciting time, as we’ve opened the door for many more ground-breaking studies that will change our view of how molecules function to make the brain work.”

The breakthrough imaging technique captures the movement of molecules within synapses—structures connecting brain cells—that are too small for conventional microscopes. “These images could further our understanding of memory, learning, and neurodegenerative diseases,” said Professor Meunier.

Media issued by The University of Queensland.

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