A new paper from David Kleinfeld’s Laboratory at UC San Diego details an exciting new technique for studying biochemistry in the brain. The paper, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, outlines a novel method for studying cell-to-cell signals that are the basis of neurotransmission. It has significant potential for uncovering the mechanisms by which many psychiatric drugs work.

What did the group find? Kleinfeld’s group devised a technique that uses elaborately-named “cell-based neurotransmitter fluorescent engineered reporters” (CNiFERs for short) to examine how neurotransmitter receptors are activated. CNiFERs are cells that have been engineered to change color when acted upon by a specific neurotransmitter. More >