Bowl full of fish dating

Suddenly, it sees the scenery flying forwards as a gentle current pushes it backwards. The dish sits on the stage of a US0,000 microscope in the corner of a darkened, cluttered laboratory.

A film, projected from below, has transported the fish to a virtual world in which moving bands of light and dark simulate passing underwater scenery.

Engert's team at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hopes that the fish in this aquatic matrix will help to answer the biggest question in neuroscience: how a doughy mass of neurons in the brain gives rise to an exquisite suite of behaviours, absorbing information from the outside world and generating responses.

Since the late nineteenth century, when Spanish anatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal pinpointed the neuron as the fundamental unit of the brain, most neuroscientists have focused on recording the electrical buzzing of individual cells.

The 'cook by boiling' is less intuitive and derives from the poaching of eggs, in which the egg white forms a pocket for the yolk.

And when fed into a computer, those signals can control the video display, giving the fish nearly every sign that it is swimming normally.

The French term fête-champêtre, meaning 'rural feast', was still in use at the 1780s to describe outdoor meals.

The word 'picnic' (also French - 'pique-nique') was introduced around that date but wasn't widely used until a century or so later.

A recently hatched zebrafish is swimming upriver for the first time.

Its big round eyes, bulging on the front of its eyelash-sized body, scan the surroundings. In reality, the baby fish is paralysed and suspended in a water-filled Petri dish by glass pipettes.

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