First Place: Kristyn Lizbinski
The primary inhibitory, or "stop" signal in the brain is the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA causes cells to become hyperpolarized, or more negatively charged and less likely to fire an action potential. This image shows a section of a moth's antennal lobe, analogous to the olfactory bulb. The large cluster of GABA-containing interneurons (yellow) and their extensions work together with serotonin (cyan) across spherical structures called glomeruli (magenta).
Imaging modality: confocal microscopy (Olympus FV1000)
Second Place: Adam Tyson
Autism is a congenital developmental disorder with symptoms spanning a large spectrum of severity. Autism is characterized by delayed development in communication, difficulty in social interactions, and highly repetitive behaviors. While autism is a complex condition, involving many genes and environmental factors, abnormalities n the cortical function have been implicated. In this image, cortical cell bodies and axons are being inspected to assess tissue microstructure. This section of tissue was taken from a mouse model of autism and optically cleared (CLARITY).
Imaging modality: multiphoton microscopy (Zeiss)
Third Place: Agnese Solari
Every new experiment, like the ones exemplified in these pages, brings us closer to understanding how our brains work, in both health and disease. Our advances will allow us to generate better, more targeted therapies for brain disorders by pinpointing the specific components that have malfunctioned. Imaged is a neurosphere of human gliobastoma cancer cells, the most aggressive type of primary brain tumor.
Imaging modality: confocal microscopy (BioRad)