NSF’s Science360 Photo of the Week - Brain cells glow in dark with bioluminescent sensor

Three hippocampal neurons glowing with bioluminescent light produced by a new genetically engineered sensor. A team of Vanderbilt University scientists has genetically modified luciferase, the enzyme that produces bioluminescence, so that it acts as an optical sensor that records activity in brain cells. Image credit: Carl Johnson, Vanderbilt University Like this photo? Sign up for NSF’s Science360 News Service for a daily dose of STEM radio, news, videos and more cool images like this.

When Our World Turns ‘Upside-Down,’ Serotonin Helps Us Deal With It

Serotonin, one of the major chemical messengers serving neuronal communication, is usually associated with the direct regulation of affective states and mood in general. But growing evidence suggests that one of the core functions of this neurotransmitter may be to facilitate our adaptation to changes in the world around us - which, in turn, may indirectly impact mood. The research will appear in eLife. - http://neurosciencenews.tumblr.com/post/158479195823/when-our-world-turns-upside-down-serotonin (or http://missatheist32blog.tumblr.com/post/158481183406/neurosciencenews-when-our-world-turns)