Posted On: Thursday, May 26, 2016
CaMPARI is a remarkable protein that can permanently record neural activity. Its fluorescence switches from green to red, but only when two things are present – calcium and violet light. So if you illuminate the subject with the appropriate light while it is performing the activity of interest – locomoting freely, smelling an odor, responding to touch, or anything else – the resulting red fluorescence shows you which neurons fired (releasing calcium) while the light was on.
Dr. David Deitcher and his students at Cornell are using the genetic and transgenic tools of Drosophila melanogaster to uncover the molecular mechanisms that underlie normal and abnormal behaviors. One of these tools is CaMPARI, and they are successfully using the Violet light head from the Stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter as the photoconversion light source for their experiments.