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Mouse inner ear, as depicted on our 2011 Bloedel Sound
This is a mouse inner ear as viewed from the side, with the basal turn at the bottom of the image and apical turn at the top. The sensory cells are green and the nerves are red after labelling with antibodies tagged with fluorescent dyes. The cells and nerves are in a sensory structure that spirals from the base to the apex of the inner ear. This inner ear was rendered transparent with a special solvent and then a 3-dimensional image was collected by use of a laser scanning confocal microscope. The blue patches are nuclei of cells in the bone surrounding the inner ear. The large yellow rose-like structure at the bottom is composed of nerve cells and nerve fibers that are leaving the base of the inner ear in order to transmit sound to the brain.