Image of the Day: Inner Glow

Researchers engineered a system for bioluminescent imaging that is as much as 1,000 times stronger than existing methods.

Feb 26, 2018
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff

Sped-up video of bioluminescence imaging in the striatum of two freely moving mice S. IWANO ET AL.

Scientists at RIKEN Brain Science Institute reported Friday (February 23) in Science that they have engineered a bioluminescent system that is 1,000 times brighter than existing technology. The new structure, called AkaBLI, allowed them to visualize individual tumor cells in mice and to detect neurons deep within the marmoset brain.

In a statement, study coauthor Atsushi Miyawaki, a molecular biologist at RIKEN, says, “this is the first time such a small ensemble of a few dozen deep neurons related to a specific learning behavior can be visualized non-invasively.”

S. Iwano et al., “Single-cell bioluminescence imaging of deep tissue in freely moving animals,” Science, doi:10.1126/science.aaq1067, 2018.