2020 Small World in Motion Competition

Fluorescent actin (Lifeact-EGFP) expressed in an embryonic rat hippocampal neuron

Dr. Andrew Moore Dr. Pedro Guedes-Dias

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Janelia Research Campus
Ashburn, Virginia, USA
100X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Dr. Andrew Moore captured this stunning video of neurons in an embryonic rat using a confocal microscope and fluorescent actin (Lifeact-EFGP) and is part of a larger experiment that set out to observe actin dynamics during neurite outgrowth. This movie was a combination of efforts which began with the transient transfection of a fluorescent actin sensor in to the neuron. Often the efficiency of this process is quite low so the next efforts required being able to optimize the microscope system to visualize the expression shown. In the end, it was all worth it, since this was the first time Dr. Moore had witnessed Neurite outgrowth. And of course, winning 4th Place in the Nikon Small World in Motion competition was an added bonus!