The strategic objective of the FlyEM project team is to develop a fully detailed, cellular- and synaptic-resolution map of the central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster, at both larval and adult stages. Simply having this “wiring-diagram” is necessary but not sufficient to understand how the fly’s nervous system functions. We are, however, confident that the wiring diagram will be a foundational tool, necessary to develop that greater understanding, in much the same way that genomic sequence information has proved essential in enabling and accelerating studies of genetics, development and molecular and cellular biology.
In addition to their shorter-term applications to the neurobiology of Drosophila, in the longer term we expect that the imaging and computational techniques developed by this team will become applicable to ever larger problems in functional neurobiology, such as those posed by vertebrate nervous systems. Towards this end, our project complements and cooperates with other projects at Janelia.
For information on FlyEM's sample preparation and imaging technology, please refer to Data Acquisition. For information on FlyEM's software and algorithms to reconstruct a connectome from a stack of EM images, please refer to Reconstruction Technology.