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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society


Restoring order
Zeiss LSM 710 Confocal Microscope

Image provided by Der-I Kao, William T Greenough Lab
Research funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Spastic Paralysis Research Foundation of the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District of Kiwanis International

Fragile X syndrome is an inherited intellectual disability disorder that affects the development and function of neurons, cells in the brain. Neurons are physically connected to each other through neurites—the long, branching structures that can be seen in this image—that end in synapses, the green knobs that are visible in the inset close-up. Researchers hope to better understand differences in the structure and activity of synapses in the brains of Fragile X patients in order to design treatments for the disorder.