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NYU researchers create a "developmental atlas" of gene expression in neurons

NEI-funded project used gene sequencing and machine learning to document diversity of brain cells in fruit flies
November 4, 2020
Color-coded map of gene expression. Credit: Desplan Lab/NYU

The NYU research team created a “developmental atlas” of gene expression in the neurons of fruit flies. Each dot represents single cells that are organized into color-coded clusters according to their cell type. Credit: Desplan Lab/NYU

New York University researchers have created a “developmental atlas” of gene expression in neurons, using gene sequencing and machine learning to categorize more than 250,000 neurons in the brains of fruit flies.

The findings reveal that neurons exhibit the most molecular diversity during development. The researchers, led by Claude Desplan, Ph.D., professor of biology at NYU, also discovered a previously unknown type of neurons that is only present before flies hatch.

The research was funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published in today's Nature.

Read more at New York University.