To trace or not to trace.

I’m a little confused about the comment boxes on Fl-01 outlining the faint signal. The contents seem to be the tube/tunnel-like structures that I’ve always tried to avoid tracing. I always thought they were maybe currents in the medium or some other anomaly. They’re everywhere. Should we be trying to trace them all, or is there something significant to look for?

I’ve also wondered about the wispy trails that seem to arise from the dendrites and drift up and around. I have been tracing them because they seem to be attached to the neuron, but perhaps that’s not really helpful. Maybe they’re just noise puffs.

The Guide contains lots of good information, but nothing about these. I’ve been thinking that there should be several pictures of “Things to avoid tracing” that would include wrinkles in the medium, those bat ray-looking things with the long tails, and those large transparent worm-like things, preferably with labels so we could know what we’re looking at. I think it would be helpful for beginners, and I certainly wouldn’t mind finding out a little more.

I concur! There are so many more things visible with the new challenges.

Glol, you crack me up. :smiley: Your terminology for the different type of lines is spot on! Love your easy to understand pictures. I call some of them dental tape or floss depending on how thick they are among other things. It would be funny to get a list of all the different words citizen scientists use to describe the axons and dendrites.

The thought just occurred to me, is this what regular scientists see? You’ve been tracing for a long time, Glol so you’ve a lot of experience identifying what is or isn’t a line…? Perhaps you are identifying the finer detail scientists see when they look through high powered tools. I thought I was imagining more lines beyond the easy to spot. It is helpful to hear you are wondering the same thing.

I’ve been doing some sifting through the Archives; the pictures are small, but I managed to find a couple of things. TC-09 has one of the large worms which, not surprisingly, is identified as a blood vessel. TC-05 has a bunch of the angular tadpoles with long tails, but they are small, hard to see, and not identified. The tails look like lines that should be traced, but they end up attached to the tadpoles rather than the neuron.

The tubes/tunnels all over MTG-12 and FL-01 are puzzling; they look kind of like lines except they seem to be hollow. I also don’t see them connecting to anything. I plan to stubbornly refuse to trace them until I find out more.

I’ve asked the scientists at AIBS if they have anymore information. Hopefully they will get back soon, but I think your initial instinct to not trace them is probably correct since the thicker dendrites usually connect back to the soma in a clear fashion.

I like them being called worms rather than blood vessels. Now that I know what they are, it kind of makes me glad I don’t have to see them in person.

Thanks szetor.

Hi glol, one of our partners at AIBS responded that those artifacts are probably just more blood vessels that pick up the biocytin stain. We’ll add a note about those to the guide pages hopefully soon.

Oh, no! That was 100% my fault!! I was making a video to show how comments work/look like and had thought I was on the testing version of the game! Sorry to have caused such confusion (though, hey, I’m glad we could revise our guide material to include this). So sorry, all!

At least we did have a nice chat about it. By the way, if anyone is interested, the angular tadpoles are possibly fibroblasts; at least that’s what Google suggests. Who knew?

glol wrote:
At least we did have a nice chat about it. By the way, if anyone is interested, the angular tadpoles are possibly fibroblasts; at least that's what Google suggests. Who knew?

Oooh, very cool!