Modeling the Mind: Neurons Derived from Skin Cells

This image, captured by Rakesh Karmacharya, shows a neuronal culture that was created by morphing a patient's skin cells into nerve cells.

Rakesh Karmacharya
Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital
Fluorescence Micrograph

For researchers studying neural diseases, figuring out what goes on inside a living human brain can be enormously difficult.  This image represents a new strategy: a patient’s skin cells have been converted into stem cells, then induced to form a neuronal culture that scientists can study in the lab.

Rakesh Karmacharya explains how and why he captured this image of a neural culture derived from skin cells.