The Sector 3 Voyage has begun.
Sectors 1 and 2 be complete!
Whispers fill the salty sea air along the e2198 shore. Rumor has it that a new land filled with vast treasures is ripe for the plundering. A ragtag crew of sea dogs and scallywags is gathering, and a ship is nearly ready to set sail.
Thus far we have gathered a bounty of treasures from the Inner Nuclear Layer of the e2198 dataset, but a thirst for science can never be quenched, and the jolly buccaneers of citizen science want more! Next we journey forth to the Ganglion Cell Layer where there be many an uncharted amacrine cell for the taking.
- Level 1 cells – we dub ye Loot cells
- Level 2 cells – we call ye Treasure cells
The Amacrine Adventure zone is found sandwiched in the middle of the retina in a volume called the Inner Nuclear Layer. Cells with somas found here relay information from photoreceptors to ganglion cells, which then send encoded stimuli down the optic nerve toward primary visual cortex. You can see a cross-section of this zone shown in teal below. The Red, Green, and Blue were zones mapped during the Countdown to Neuropia.
We know ye may have a question or 3 before ye be ready to embark on this voyage…
- Didn’t we already map all the cells in the Ganglion Cell Layer?
We mapped all the cells in the Countdown to Neuropia Zones 1-3 (colored blue, green, and red in image below). These uncharted amacrine cells lie in Zone 4, which is shown in the grey area of the electron microscope image that encompasses the entire Eyewire dataset below.I thought only ganglion cells existed in the Ganglion Cell Layer (GCL)?
The Ganglion Cell Layer is named because it is the retinal layer that contains ganglion cells. However, both ganglion and “displaced” amacrine cells are found in the GCL. Scientists estimate that about 60% of the cells in the GCL of a mouse are amacrine.
What’s so important about these “displaced” amacrine cells in the GCL?
The scientists at Seung Lab theorize that these amacrine cells are as important as the ones in the Inner Nuclear Layer (INL) as they are probably only residing in the GCL because of space constraints. These amacrine cells will most likely make contacts with the inner layers of the Inner Plexiform Layer (IPL) and therefore perform the same function as their counterpart amacrine cells in the INL that make contacts to the outer layers of the IPL.
(If you want a little refresher on the retinal layers of a mouse, check out this blog post: https://blog.eyewire.org/electron-microscope-image-through-the-whole-retina/)
Remind me, where have all the cells in the Dig been located?
The Dig cells are located in the Inner Nuclear Layer.
I’m a scythe and some of these cells are ancient! Is there anything I should be on the lookout for?
While HQ has done preparations for this journey, some cells may have been scythed under an old system before “Last Scythe Wins” was implemented. We’ve made adjustments but if you find that your reap isn’t updating properly, let an admin know via the Scouts Log or email.
During cell growth, an old merger branch may respawn with scythe-completes on low-weight cubes. Scythes used scythe-complete to stop merger growth in the past, so please let admins know so we can properly reset any of those old preventative scythe-completes.
Some of these amacrine cells seem like they may have already been mapped?
In Zone 4, the scientists chose to focus on reconstructing ganglion cells and certain types of amacrine cells. So while we may have briefly “landed” on the shores of an amacrine cell, we never journeyed on to map the entire cell. These cells will now be formally explored and reconstructed!
So what are ye waitin’ for ye landlubber? Swab the decks, hoist the Jolly Roger, and let’s set sail on a fantastic new Amacrine Adventure!