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From the editors

As we reach the end of the year and absorb the developments presented at another very succesful Society for Neuroscience meeting, it seems timely to reflect on how emerging concepts and technologies will affect neuroscience in the coming years.

A new technology that promises to address questions of connectivity on a large scale is described in a highlight on page 907. The creators of the 'Brainbow' generated genetic constructs that result in the expression of a specific combination of fluorescent proteins in each individual neuron, allowing researchers to visualize individual cells and neurites within densely packed brain areas.

In recent years the reversible binding of SUMO isoforms to target proteins has been shown to regulate diverse activities of target proteins inside and outside the nucleus. In their Review on page 948, Henley and colleagues describe growing knowledge about how SUMOylation might affect neuronal development, synaptic plasticity and neurological disorders.

A recently emerged principle in developmental neuroscience implicates members of the immunoglobulin superfamily in the organization of dendritic fields. In a Progress article on page 915, Dietmar Schmucker discusses how the specific homophilic binding and extraordinary isoform diversity of Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) contributes to neuronal wiring in Drosophila melanogaster; similar concepts might underlie neuronal wiring in mammals.

No doubt the next decade of neuroscience research will push the boundaries of our knowledge even further. By combining advancing computing power with increasingly sophisticated research tools, we may be able to dissect and understand the brain at much greater resolution than ever before.

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From the editors. Nat Rev Neurosci 8, 905 (2007).

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