What Is This?

Could it be a heat map representation of some strange metropolis? Maybe it's a new breakthrough in spectral analysis techniques? Or perhaps it's just a severely decomposed scanwich. Unfortunately, all of those guesses are wrong.

You're looking at the brainscan of a fruit fly, which has been injected with fluorescent proteins to trace out and highlight neuron networks in the brain, making each neuron glow one of a 100 custom colors. The technique, referred to as a "brainbow," had been introduced in mice back in 2007, making it posible to sort out previously indistinguishable neuron paths. Now the technique works with fruit flies, giving us beautiful images, such as this. Researchers hope they can use the brainbow technique to figure out which exact neurons control specific brain functions, such as motor skills. [Technology Review via FastCo]