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187 Publications

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    08/01/12 | Activity dynamics and behavioral correlates of CA3 and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons.
    Mizuseki K, Royer S, Diba K, Buzsáki G
    Hippocampus. 2012 Aug;22(8):1659-80. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22002

    The CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons are the major principal cell types of the hippocampus proper. The strongly recurrent collateral system of CA3 cells and the largely parallel-organized CA1 neurons suggest that these regions perform distinct computations. However, a comprehensive comparison between CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells in terms of firing properties, network dynamics, and behavioral correlations is sparse in the intact animal. We performed large-scale recordings in the dorsal hippocampus of rats to quantify the similarities and differences between CA1 (n > 3,600) and CA3 (n > 2,200) pyramidal cells during sleep and exploration in multiple environments. CA1 and CA3 neurons differed significantly in firing rates, spike burst propensity, spike entrainment by the theta rhythm, and other aspects of spiking dynamics in a brain state-dependent manner. A smaller proportion of CA3 than CA1 cells displayed prominent place fields, but place fields of CA3 neurons were more compact, more stable, and carried more spatial information per spike than those of CA1 pyramidal cells. Several other features of the two cell types were specific to the testing environment. CA3 neurons showed less pronounced phase precession and a weaker position versus spike-phase relationship than CA1 cells. Our findings suggest that these distinct activity dynamics of CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells support their distinct computational roles.

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    Cui Lab
    08/01/12 | Fluorescence imaging beyond the ballistic regime by ultrasound-pulse-guided digital phase conjugation.
    Si K, Fiolka R, Cui M
    Nature Photonics. 2012 Aug;6:657. doi: doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.205

    Fluorescence imaging has revolutionized biomedical research over the past three decades. Its high molecular specificity and unrivalled single-molecule-level sensitivity have enabled breakthroughs in a number of research fields. For in vivo applications its major limitation is its superficial imaging depth, a result of random scattering in biological tissues causing exponential attenuation of the ballistic component of a light wave. Here, we present fluorescence imaging beyond the ballistic regime by combining single-cycle pulsed ultrasound modulation and digital optical phase conjugation. We demonstrate a near-isotropic three-dimensional localized sound–light interaction zone. With the exceptionally high optical gain provided by the digital optical phase conjugation system, we can deliver sufficient optical power to a focus inside highly scattering media for not only fluorescence imaging but also a variety of linear and nonlinear spectroscopy measurements. This technology paves the way for many important applications in both fundamental biology research and clinical studies.

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    Gonen Lab
    08/01/12 | Recent progress in membrane protein structures and investigation methods.
    Gonen T, Waksman G
    Current Opinion in Structural Biology. 2012 Aug;22(4):467-8. doi: 10.1016/
    Tjian Lab
    08/01/12 | Transcription initiation by human RNA polymerase II visualized at single-molecule resolution.
    Revyakin A, Zhang Z, Coleman RA, Li Y, Inouye C, Lucas JK, Park S, Chu S, Tjian R
    Genes & Development. 2012 Aug 1;26:1691-702. doi: 10.1101/gad.194936.112

    Forty years of classical biochemical analysis have identified the molecular players involved in initiation of transcription by eukaryotic RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and largely assigned their functions. However, a dynamic picture of Pol II transcription initiation and an understanding of the mechanisms of its regulation have remained elusive due in part to inherent limitations of conventional ensemble biochemistry. Here we have begun to dissect promoter-specific transcription initiation directed by a reconstituted human Pol II system at single-molecule resolution using fluorescence video-microscopy. We detected several stochastic rounds of human Pol II transcription from individual DNA templates, observed attenuation of transcription by promoter mutations, observed enhancement of transcription by activator Sp1, and correlated the transcription signals with real-time interactions of holo-TFIID molecules at individual DNA templates. This integrated single-molecule methodology should be applicable to studying other complex biological processes.

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    07/27/12 | Neuroscience. The mind of a male?
    Chklovskii DB, Bargmann CI
    Science. 2012 Jul 27;337:416-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1225853
    07/26/12 | An olfactory subsystem that mediates high-sensitivity detection of volatile amines.
    Pacifico R, Dewan A, Cawley D, Guo C, Bozza T
    Cell Rep. 2012 Jul 26;2(1):76-88. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.06.006

    Olfactory stimuli are detected by over 1,000 odorant receptors in mice, with each receptor being mapped to specific glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. The trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs) are a small family of evolutionarily conserved olfactory receptors whose contribution to olfaction remains enigmatic. Here, we show that a majority of the TAARs are mapped to a discrete subset of glomeruli in the dorsal olfactory bulb of the mouse. This TAAR projection is distinct from the previously described class I and class II domains, and is formed by a sensory neuron population that is restricted to express TAAR genes prior to choice. We also show that the dorsal TAAR glomeruli are selectively activated by amines at low concentrations. Our data uncover a hard-wired, parallel input stream in the main olfactory pathway that is specialized for the detection of volatile amines.

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    07/12/12 | Estimation theoretic measure of resolution for stochastic localization microscopy.
    Fitzgerald JE, Lu J, Schnitzer MJ
    Physical review letters. 2012 Jul 27;109(4):048102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.048102

    One approach to super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, termed stochastic localization microscopy, relies on the nanometer scale spatial localization of individual fluorescent emitters that stochastically label specific features of the specimen. The precision of emitter localization is an important determinant of the resulting image resolution but is insufficient to specify how well the derived images capture the structure of the specimen. We address this deficiency by considering the inference of specimen structure based on the estimated emitter locations. By using estimation theory, we develop a measure of spatial resolution that jointly depends on the density of the emitter labels, the precision of emitter localization, and prior information regarding the spatial frequency content of the labeled object. The Nyquist criterion does not set the scaling of this measure with emitter number. Given prior information and a fixed emitter labeling density, our resolution measure asymptotes to a finite value as the precision of emitter localization improves. By considering the present experimental capabilities, this asymptotic behavior implies that further resolution improvements require increases in labeling density above typical current values. Our treatment also yields algorithms to enhance reliable image features. Overall, our formalism facilitates the rigorous statistical interpretation of the data produced by stochastic localization imaging techniques.

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    Svoboda Lab
    07/01/12 | Automated tracking of whiskers in videos of head fixed rodents.
    Clack NG, O’Connor DH, Huber D, Petreanu L, Hires A, Peron S, Svoboda K, Myers EW
    PLoS Computational Biology. 2012 Jul;8:e1002591. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002591

    We have developed software for fully automated tracking of vibrissae (whiskers) in high-speed videos (>500 Hz) of head-fixed, behaving rodents trimmed to a single row of whiskers. Performance was assessed against a manually curated dataset consisting of 1.32 million video frames comprising 4.5 million whisker traces. The current implementation detects whiskers with a recall of 99.998% and identifies individual whiskers with 99.997% accuracy. The average processing rate for these images was 8 Mpx/s/cpu (2.6 GHz Intel Core2, 2 GB RAM). This translates to 35 processed frames per second for a 640 px×352 px video of 4 whiskers. The speed and accuracy achieved enables quantitative behavioral studies where the analysis of millions of video frames is required. We used the software to analyze the evolving whisking strategies as mice learned a whisker-based detection task over the course of 6 days (8148 trials, 25 million frames) and measure the forces at the sensory follicle that most underlie haptic perception.

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    Cardona Lab
    07/01/12 | Current challenges in open-source bioimage informatics.
    Cardona A, Tomancak P
    Nature Methods. 2012 Jul;9(7):661-5. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2082

    We discuss the advantages and challenges of the open-source strategy in biological image analysis and argue that its full impact will not be realized without better support and recognition of software engineers’ contributions to the biological sciences and more support of this development model from funders and institutions.

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    07/01/12 | Dorsorostral snout muscles in the rat subserve coordinated movement for whisking and sniffing.
    Haidarliu S, Golomb D, Kleinfeld D, Ahissar E
    Anatomical Record. 2012 Jul;295(7):1181-91. doi: 10.1002/ar.22501

    Histochemical examination of the dorsorostral quadrant of the rat snout revealed superficial and deep muscles that are involved in whisking, sniffing, and airflow control. The part of M. nasolabialis profundus that acts as an intrinsic (follicular) muscle to facilitate protraction and translation of the vibrissae is described. An intraturbinate and selected rostral-most nasal muscles that can influence major routs of inspiratory airflow and rhinarial touch through their control of nostril configuration, atrioturbinate and rhinarium position, were revealed.

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