An animal’s nervous system uses chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate all sorts of information. How hot, cold, or sharp is that thing you’re touching and what should you do about that? What parts of your body hurt at any given time? How do you feel about that thing your friend just said? Your brain and spinal cord and the nerves running between them and the rest of your body help you answer questions like these.  

Neurochemist Jill Venton, an analytical chemist, studies neurotransmitters like dopamine.  When do our brains create more dopamine? How can we measure the chemicals present in a brain? Venton and her team of scientists use 3D printers and carbon nanotubes to explore the chemical changes in brains as animals deal with different situations, including diseases like Parkinson’s.