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Work on putting together a "map" of brain cells

APA/dpa © APA/dpa

The new technology, which was combined and used for the first time in the world by the Medical University of Vienna and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, enables every cell to be identified without any prior knowledge and to precisely list their components. At the same time, their activity and functions in the individual areas of the brain can be displayed.

“This will enable us to compile a representative catalogue of mRNA molecules in the neurons and we can use this, for example, to differentiate various neuronal subtypes and to compare healthy and diseased cells or young neurons with old ones. This technology is a revolutionary breakthrough, because it enables us to record molecular determinants of the entire neuronal identity," said Tibor Harkany, Head of the Department of Molecular Neurosciences at the Medical University of Vienna.

For example, initial study findings included the discovery of five subtypes of neurons that have previously been impossible to research because of their diverse nature. 

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