Technology

Inside an Ancient Monkey Skull

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The ancient monkey, known as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its 15 million-year-old skull was discovered on an island in Kenya’s Lake Victoria. Now, thanks to X-ray imaging, researchers have peered inside its cranial cavity and created a three-dimensional computer model of what the animal’s brain looked like.

Making New Connections

This composite image from the lab of Scott Soderling in Cell Biology shows both the behavior and structure of a protein called WRP that occurs almost exclusively in neurons. Tagged green, the protein homes in on slender, red-labeled dendrites on the receiving end of a neuron. A computer-rendered model at the center of the image shows the structure of the portion of WRP that binds to the surface of the dendrite.

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