Video Catches Tiny Brain Proteins on the Move

By illuminating certain proteins and blocking and unblocking just one of
the myriad pathways inside a neuron, a team from the University of Southern
California recorded, on video, how proteins shuttle along inside a jellyfish cell (see video after the jump).

The short video shows vesicles carrying the glowing proteins entering
both the axon and the dendrite sections of the neuron; when they enter the
axon, though, they stop and reverse course, the researchers said.

"Your brain is being disassembled and
reassembled every day," said Don Arnold, associate professor of molecular and
computational biology at USC and corresponding author of an article about the
research (which appeared in Cell
 on July
26). "One week from today, your brain will be made up of completely
different proteins than it is today," Arnold said in a press release. "This video shows
the process. We've known that it was happening, but now we can watch it

–Nicky Penttila


Sarmad Al-Bassam, Min Xu, Thomas J. Wandless,
Don B. Arnold. Differential Trafficking of Transport Vesicles
Contributes to the Localization of Dendritic ProteinsCell Reports,
2012; 2 (1): 89 DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2012.05.018. Research funded by National Institutes of Health grants NS-041963 and

One response

  1. It’s amazing what we learn about organization on this microscopic level. This video reminds me of an ant colony going in and out of its nest or cars on a freeway system going in and out of a city. From the micro to the macro level and beyond, perhaps, to the way gallaxies work. Fascinating!

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