Neuroscience_technics
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Neuroscience_technics
Neuroscience requires a wide range of technologies
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Targeting neurons and photons for optogenetics

Targeting neurons and photons for optogenetics | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it

activity in genetically or functionally defined neurons with millisecond precision. Harnessing the full potential of optogenetic tools, however, requires light to be targeted to the right neurons at the right time. Here we discuss some barriers and potential solutions to this problem. We review methods for targeting the expression of light-activatable molecules to specific cell types, under genetic, viral or activity-dependent control. Next we explore new ways to target light to individual neurons to allow their precise activation and inactivation. These techniques provide a precision in the temporal and spatial activation of neurons that was not achievable in previous experiments. In combination with simultaneous recording and imaging techniques, these strategies will allow us to mimic the natural activity patterns of neurons in vivo, enabling previously impossible 'dream experiments'. (...) - by Packer AM et al., Nature Neuroscience 16, 805–815 (2013)

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See-through brains clarify connections

See-through brains clarify connections | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it

Technique to make tissue transparent offers three-dimensional view of neural networks.


A chemical treatment that turns whole organs transparent offers a big boost to the field of ‘connectomics’ — the push to map the brain’s fiendishly complicated wiring. Scientists could use the technique to view large networks of neurons with unprecedented ease and accuracy. The technology also opens up new research avenues for old brains that were saved from patients and healthy donors. (...) - by Helen Shen, Nature News, 10 April 2013


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Viral transduction of the neonatal brain delivers controllable genetic mosaicism for visualising and manipulating neuronal circuits in vivo

Viral transduction of the neonatal brain delivers controllable genetic mosaicism for visualising and manipulating neuronal circuits in vivo | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it

Freehand injection of recombinant AAV into the neonatal mouse brain offers a fast and easy way to attain widespread genetic manipulation of neurons throughout the brain. Rapid onset and year-long persistence of viral expression permits study of both critical periods and aging. Viral titer can be used to control mosaicism, and multiple viruses can be co-injected for bigenic expression. The technique’s simplicity and the availability of viral reagents should facilitate a range of experiments. (...) - by Ji-Yoen Kim et al.European Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 37Issue 8pages 1203–1220April 2013

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Fluorescent dopamine tracer resolves individual dopaminergic synapses and their activity in the brain

Fluorescent dopamine tracer resolves individual dopaminergic synapses and their activity in the brain | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it

[AbstractWe recently introduced fluorescent false neurotransmitters (FFNs) as optical tracers that enable the visualization of neurotransmitter release at individual presynaptic terminals. Here, we describe a pH-responsive FFN probe, FFN102, which as a polar dopamine transporter substrate selectively labels dopamine cell bodies and dendrites in ventral midbrain and dopaminergic synaptic terminals in dorsal striatum. FFN102 exhibits greater fluorescence emission in neutral than acidic environments, and thus affords a means to optically measure evoked release of synaptic vesicle content into the extracellular space. Simultaneously, FFN102 allows the measurement of individual synaptic terminal activity by following fluorescence loss upon stimulation. Thus, FFN102 enables not only the identification of dopamine cells and their processes in brain tissue, but also the optical measurement of functional parameters including dopamine transporter activity and dopamine release at the level of individual synapses. As such, the development of FFN102 demonstrates that, by bringing together organic chemistry and neuroscience, molecular entities can be generated that match the endogenous transmitters in selectivity and distribution, allowing for the study of both the microanatomy and functional plasticity of the normal and diseased nervous system. - by Rodriguez PC et al., PNAS vol. 110 no. 3, 870875


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