Elizabeth Pennisi reports from Washington, D.C., at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience
In the study of nervous systems, staining represents a useful but often tedious and expensive technique for making nerves visible. Now, neurobiologists in Canada say they have developed a new dye procedure that's quick and easy and lets researchers monitor cells' electrical and chemical activity Patrick A. Carr of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg injects the dye, tetramethylrhodamine, through an electrode inserted into the nerve cell under study. The sugar part of the dye molecules makes it easy for the dye to get to the far reaches of the cell. "We see fine cellular processes that we couldn't see before," Carr says.