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Art of Science image titled Dentate

Scientist Collaborator Chris Seward

Lisa Stubbs Labratory

Multiphoton Confocal Microscope Zeiss 710 microscope

For years, researchers have exploited mice as powerful genetic tools to answer long standing questions in biology. By studying the regulatory networks in the mouse brain, researchers can better understand the link between genomic mechanisms and social behavior. The original image shows a Golgi-stained mouse hippocampus—a region of the brain involved in memory—that was taken with a multiphoton confocal Zeiss 710 microscope. The characteristic black color originates from silver nitrate used in the staining process.

The researchers used Golgi staining to identify structural and organizational differences in neuronal processes of mice with a mutation in an autism susceptibility gene, Auts2. The art piece features a central cluster of neurons, called the dentate nucleus, against a backdrop

of psychedelic hippocampus. This piece pays homage to late abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler, who once said to “let the picture lead you where it must go.”