This week?s advance online publication of __Nature Neuroscience__ linkurl:details a neat new technique; called FACS-array profiling, which should be of interest to anyone studying central nervous system development. X. William Yang and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, used transgenic mice from the linkurl:GENSAT; (gene expression nervous system atlas) project to compare gene expression profiles in two distinct cell subpopulations of the basal ganglia. Each transgenic GENSAT mouse expresses the enhanced green fluorescent (EGFP) protein under the control of a particular central nervous system-restricted locus. In this case Yang?s team compared gene expression in mice containing EGFP insertions that specifically labeled either the striatopallidal or striatonigral medium spiny neurons (MSNs), two cell types that are "morphologically indistinguishable and mosaically distributed." The team harvested and enzymatically dissociated striata from mice at postnatal day 20, labeled the cells with propidium iodide, and sorted by FACS to isolate live (PI-negative), GFP-stained...

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