Beautiful Science

These live neurons, stained with a chemical dye called Neuron Orange, or NeuO, were captured at 20 times magnification under a widefield microscope. The dye is what allows neurons to be distinguished easily from other types of brain cells. NeuO is th
PHOTO: PROFESSOR CHANG YOUNG-TAE

These live neurons, stained with a chemical dye called Neuron Orange, or NeuO, were captured at 20 times magnification under a widefield microscope. The dye is what allows neurons to be distinguished easily from other types of brain cells. NeuO is the world's first chemical dye that can selectively target and stain live neurons - nerve cells essential for body function and movement. Previously, other chemical dyes were unable to selectively stain neurons, and antibodies could be used to stain only dead neurons. NeuO overcame these barriers and allows scientists to study neurons in their natural state. It was created by scientists from the National University of Singapore and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2015, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe