Neurons and Glutamate receptor messenger RNA in Drosophila embryo
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Neurons are cells that make up the circuits inside our brains. A synapse is the point of contact of two neurons, through which they communicate with each other and thereby relay electrical or chemical signals from the sending cell to the receiving cell. Receiving cells have receptors for this purpose. My thesis project is the analysis of Glutamate Receptors during development of the nervous system. We use Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) as a model organism. I study the Glutamate Receptor messenger RNA and its regulation during the development period of a fruit fly from an embryo to larva. Messenger RNAs transfer information contained in the DNA to result in protein, the “final product.” The image here shows the messenger RNA of Glutamate Receptors (purple) in the ventral body-wall muscles and its developing neurons (yellow) in a Drosophila melanogaster embryo, 12 hours after laying. The mRNA is visulalized by Fluorescent in situ hybridization technique and the neurons by means of a fluorescently labeled antibody that recognizes it. The image was taken using confocal laser scanning microscopy and processed with Image-J and Adobe Photoshop.