Best neuroscience images of 2016

29 Nov 2016



The top scientific images for 2016 have been revealed.

Artistic Winner: Candlelight by Leon Wei Luan, Eyles lab. The flame is composed of the stem cells in the embryonic midbrain. The white candle is made of developing dopamine neurons. The shining gleams are the nuclei of other cells in the midbrain.

Technical Winner: The visual brain by Hanne Theon, Marshall lab. 3D-volume reconstruction of the optic neuropils of a mantis shrimps eye. The colour indicates depth in the tissue.

Scientific Winner: This cortex is on fire! by Kok-Siong Chen, Richards Lab. Immunofluorescent labelling of MBP shows myelin profiles ensheath axons for speeding up and maintaining the efficiency of neural communication in the neocortex.

People's Choice Winner: BrainSTORM by Se Eun (Joanne) Jang, Anggono lab. Growth cone of a young hippocampal neuron reaching out to make new connections, a fundamental process underlying learning and memory.

Silvern oldies by Vanessa Lanoue, Cooper lab: Hippocampal neurons labelled by the 19th century silver staining method of Golgi and revealed by a state-of-the-art technology. Old techniques still do the job!

The great unknown by Arthur Chien, microscopy team: A snapshot of a brain in cross section and masked in black. 

Starry starry night by Fabio Cortesi, Marshall lab: A fish’s skin will provide the light. A close up of dottyback pigmentary cells reveals that this fish can change colour by varying the amount of yellow and black cells within its skin.

Interconnectivity – dance of SNAREs in the dark by Adekunle Bademosi, Meunier lab: The mobile signature of single syntaxin1A proteins at the motor nerve terminal of a living fruit fly larva.

Dismantled eye by Leonie Kirszenblat, van Swinderen lab: Like the earth, the insect eye is an ancient structure made up of many layers.

Kapwa by Luke Hammond, Microscopy Facility Manager and Jeremy Ullmann, Centre for Advanced Imaging: The full body of the zebrafish is captured using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Taking advantage of the transparent skin of the zebrafish, fluorescent proteins are observed in many slices through the fish, resulting in a large 3D monochrome image. This image is then transformed into a 2D image by using colour to represent height.

Closer by Luke Hammond, Microscopy Facility Manager: Being able to accurately trace neurons (brain cells), including the fine protrusions (spines) where they connect with other neurons is essential to advancing our understanding of the brain. This image was captured using high-resolution spinning disk confocal microscopy and further processed to digitally restore finer, previously obscured details. The combination of these techniques here allows a precise reproduction of two adjacent neurons. Colour in this image reflects depth in 3D.

Within the in-between by Luke Hammond, Microscopy Facility Manager: Rapid imaging of fluorescently labelled neurons using confocal microscopy allows researchers to build 3D models of the fine cellular architecture of the brain. This image reveals the cell bodies (large round objects) of neurons and their complex interconnected processes. Shades of orange through to blue reflect the height at which each neuron is sitting within the 3D tissue volume.

Rock and roll by Mahadeeswara Yadav Mandiyam, Srinivasan lab: This image was captured when the bee was making a coordinated and banked turn in the curved section of an experimental tunnel.

Survival instinct by Mridula Arun, Subramanian lab: These neurons in the dorsal periaqueductal grey generate the instantaneous survival reaction that saves your life during dangerous situations!

Our inner universe on Alzheimer’s by Shrinath Kadamangudi, Götz lab: Interpreting amyloid-beta’s plague on our peripheral brains and inner mind. A striking difference can be observed in the healthy brain (top hemisphere) to a plaque invaded Alzheimer’s brain (bottom hemisphere).