Illustration by Huixuan Liang

One Small Map for Fruit Flies, One Giant Leap for Neuroscience

Knowing Neurons

Earlier this year, collaborative efforts across various disciplines and academic institutions have shown just how much we can learn by understanding the small brain of the fruit fly in all its complexity. One of those efforts was led by a group of researchers at the Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, who have been enraptured with the tiny brains of fruit flies, or Drosophila. This past May, the team released a database of electron microscopy (EM) images that allow us to view the entire brain of a fruit fly, complete with visualizations of synaptic connections and neurons.