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1366 Janelia Publications

Showing 1301-1310 of 1366 results
Chklovskii Lab
01/01/09 | Reconstruction of sparse circuits using multi-neuronal excitation (RESCUME).
Hu T, Chklovskii DB
Neural Information Processing Systems. 2009;22:790-8

One of the central problems in neuroscience is reconstructing synaptic connectivity in neural circuits. Synapses onto a neuron can be probed by sequentially stimulating potentially pre-synaptic neurons while monitoring the membrane voltage of the post-synaptic neuron. Reconstructing a large neural circuit using such a "brute force" approach is rather time-consuming and inefficient because the connectivity in neural circuits is sparse. Instead, we propose to measure a post-synaptic neuron's voltage while stimulating sequentially random subsets of multiple potentially pre-synaptic neurons. To reconstruct these synaptic connections from the recorded voltage we apply a decoding algorithm recently developed for compressive sensing. Compared to the brute force approach, our method promises significant time savings that grow with the size of the circuit. We use computer simulations to find optimal stimulation parameters and explore the feasibility of our reconstruction method under realistic experimental conditions including noise and non-linear synaptic integration. Multineuronal stimulation allows reconstructing synaptic connectivity just from the spiking activity of post-synaptic neurons, even when sub-threshold voltage is unavailable. By using calcium indicators, voltage-sensitive dyes, or multi-electrode arrays one could monitor activity of multiple postsynaptic neurons simultaneously, thus mapping their synaptic inputs in parallel, potentially reconstructing a complete neural circuit.

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Eddy/Rivas Lab
01/01/09 | Rfam: updates to the RNA families database.
Gardner PP, Daub J, Tate JG, Nawrocki EP, Kolbe DL, Lindgreen S, Wilkinson AC, Finn RD, Griffiths-Jones S, Eddy SR, Bateman A
Nucleic Acids Research. 2009 Jan;37(Database issue):D136-40. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn766

Rfam is a collection of RNA sequence families, represented by multiple sequence alignments and covariance models (CMs). The primary aim of Rfam is to annotate new members of known RNA families on nucleotide sequences, particularly complete genomes, using sensitive BLAST filters in combination with CMs. A minority of families with a very broad taxonomic range (e.g. tRNA and rRNA) provide the majority of the sequence annotations, whilst the majority of Rfam families (e.g. snoRNAs and miRNAs) have a limited taxonomic range and provide a limited number of annotations. Recent improvements to the website, methodologies and data used by Rfam are discussed. Rfam is freely available on the Web at http://rfam.sanger.ac.uk/and http://rfam.janelia.org/.

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01/01/09 | Stochastic resonance-enhanced laser-based particle detector.
Dutta A, Werner C
Conference Proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.. 2009;2009:785-7. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5332748

This paper presents a Laser-based particle detector whose response was enhanced by modulating the Laser diode with a white-noise generator. A Laser sheet was generated to cast a shadow of the object on a 200 dots per inch, 512 x 1 pixels linear sensor array. The Laser diode was modulated with a white-noise generator to achieve stochastic resonance. The white-noise generator essentially amplified the wide-bandwidth (several hundred MHz) noise produced by a reverse-biased zener diode operating in junction-breakdown mode. The gain in the amplifier in the white-noise generator was set such that the Receiver Operating Characteristics plot provided the best discriminability. A monofiber 40 AWG (approximately 80 microm) wire was detected with approximately 88% True Positive rate and approximately 19% False Positive rate in presence of white-noise modulation and with approximately 71% True Positive rate and approximately 15% False Positive rate in absence of white-noise modulation.

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12/26/08 | Native R-loops persist throughout the mouse mitochondrial DNA genome.
Brown TA, Tkachuk AN, Clayton DA
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2008 Dec 26;283(52):36743-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2010.01.001

Mammalian mtDNA has been found here to harbor RNA-DNA hybrids at a variety of locations throughout the genome. The R-loop, previously characterized in vitro at the leading strand replication origin (OH), is isolated as a native RNA-DNA hybrid copurifying with mtDNA. Surprisingly, other mitochondrial transcripts also form stable partial R-loops. These are abundant and affect mtDNA conformation. Current models regarding the mechanism of mammalian mtDNA replication have been expanded by recent data and discordant hypotheses. The presence of stable, nonreplicative, and partially hybridized RNA on the mtDNA template is significant for the reevaluation of replication models based on two-dimensional agarose gel analyses. In addition, the close association of a subpopulation of mtRNA with the DNA template has further implications regarding the structure, maintenance, and expression of the mitochondrial genome. These results demonstrate that variously processed and targeted mtRNAs within mammalian mitochondria likely have multiple functions in addition to their conventional roles.

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12/25/08 | Compartmental neural simulations with spatial adaptivity.
Rempe MJ, Spruston N, Kath WL, Chopp DL
Journal of Computational Neuroscience. 2008 Dec;25(3):465-80. doi: 10.1007/s10827-008-0089-3

Since their inception, computational models have become increasingly complex and useful counterparts to laboratory experiments within the field of neuroscience. Today several software programs exist to solve the underlying mathematical system of equations, but such programs typically solve these equations in all parts of a cell (or network of cells) simultaneously, regardless of whether or not all of the cell is active. This approach can be inefficient if only part of the cell is active and many simulations must be performed. We have previously developed a numerical method that provides a framework for spatial adaptivity by making the computations local to individual branches rather than entire cells (Rempe and Chopp, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 28: 2139-2161, 2006). Once the computation is reduced to the level of branches instead of cells, spatial adaptivity is straightforward: the active regions of the cell are detected and computational effort is focused there, while saving computations in other regions of the cell that are at or near rest. Here we apply the adaptive method to four realistic neuronal simulation scenarios and demonstrate its improved efficiency over non-adaptive methods. We find that the computational cost of the method scales with the amount of activity present in the simulation, rather than the physical size of the system being simulated. For certain problems spatial adaptivity reduces the computation time by up to 80%.

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12/23/08 | Multilayer three-dimensional super resolution imaging of thick biological samples.
Vaziri A, Tang J, Shroff H, Shank CV
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2008 Dec 23;105(51):20221-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810636105

Recent advances in optical microscopy have enabled biological imaging beyond the diffraction limit at nanometer resolution. A general feature of most of the techniques based on photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) or stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) has been the use of thin biological samples in combination with total internal reflection, thus limiting the imaging depth to a fraction of an optical wavelength. However, to study whole cells or organelles that are typically up to 15 microm deep into the cell, the extension of these methods to a three-dimensional (3D) super resolution technique is required. Here, we report an advance in optical microscopy that enables imaging of protein distributions in cells with a lateral localization precision better than 50 nm at multiple imaging planes deep in biological samples. The approach is based on combining the lateral super resolution provided by PALM with two-photon temporal focusing that provides optical sectioning. We have generated super-resolution images over an axial range of approximately 10 microm in both mitochondrially labeled fixed cells, and in the membranes of living S2 Drosophila cells.

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12/11/08 | Unfolding warping for object recognition.
Xie J, Hu M, Shah M
19TH International Conference on Pattern Recognition. 2008 December 11:. doi: 10.1109/ICPR.2008.4761188

In practice, understanding the spatial relationships between the surfaces of an object, can significantly improve the performance of object recognition systems. In this paper we propose a novel framework to recognize objects in pictures taken from arbitrary viewpoints. The idea is to maintain the frontal views of the major faces of objects in a global flat map. Then an unfolding warping technique is used to change the pose of the query object in the test view so that all visible surfaces of the object can be observed from a frontal viewpoint, improving the handling of serious occlusions and large viewpoint changes. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach through analysis of recognition trials of complex objects with comparison to popular methods.

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12/09/08 | A genetically encoded fluorescent sensor of ERK activity.
Harvey CD, Ehrhardt AG, Cellurale C, Zhong H, Yasuda R, Davis RJ, Svoboda K
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2008 Dec 9;105(49):19264-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0804598105

The activity of the ERK has complex spatial and temporal dynamics that are important for the specificity of downstream effects. However, current biochemical techniques do not allow for the measurement of ERK signaling with fine spatiotemporal resolution. We developed a genetically encoded, FRET-based sensor of ERK activity (the extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity reporter, EKAR), optimized for signal-to-noise ratio and fluorescence lifetime imaging. EKAR selectively and reversibly reported ERK activation in HEK293 cells after epidermal growth factor stimulation. EKAR signals were correlated with ERK phosphorylation, required ERK activity, and did not report the activities of JNK or p38. EKAR reported ERK activation in the dendrites and nucleus of hippocampal pyramidal neurons in brain slices after theta-burst stimuli or trains of back-propagating action potentials. EKAR therefore permits the measurement of spatiotemporal ERK signaling dynamics in living cells, including in neuronal compartments in intact tissues.

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12/01/08 | Advances in the speed and resolution of light microscopy.
Ji N, Shroff H, Zhong H, Betzig E
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2008 Dec;18(6):605-16. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2009.03.009

Neurobiological processes occur on spatiotemporal scales spanning many orders of magnitude. Greater understanding of these processes therefore demands improvements in the tools used in their study. Here we review recent efforts to enhance the speed and resolution of one such tool, fluorescence microscopy, with an eye toward its application to neurobiological problems. On the speed front, improvements in beam scanning technology, signal generation rates, and photodamage mediation are bringing us closer to the goal of real-time functional imaging of extended neural networks. With regard to resolution, emerging methods of adaptive optics may lead to diffraction-limited imaging or much deeper imaging in optically inhomogeneous tissues, and super-resolution techniques may prove a powerful adjunct to electron microscopic methods for nanometric neural circuit reconstruction.

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12/01/08 | Advances in the speed and resolution of light microscopy. (With commentary)
Ji N, Shroff H, Zhong H, Betzig E
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2008 Dec;18(6):605-16. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2009.03.009

Neurobiological processes occur on spatiotemporal scales spanning many orders of magnitude. Greater understanding of these processes therefore demands improvements in the tools used in their study. Here we review recent efforts to enhance the speed and resolution of one such tool, fluorescence microscopy, with an eye toward its application to neurobiological problems. On the speed front, improvements in beam scanning technology, signal generation rates, and photodamage mediation are bringing us closer to the goal of real-time functional imaging of extended neural networks. With regard to resolution, emerging methods of adaptive optics may lead to diffraction-limited imaging or much deeper imaging in optically inhomogeneous tissues, and super-resolution techniques may prove a powerful adjunct to electron microscopic methods for nanometric neural circuit reconstruction.

Commentary: A brief review of recent trends in microscopy. The section “Caveats regarding the application of superresolution microscopy” was written in an effort to inject a dose of reality and caution into the unquestioning enthusiasm in the academic community for all things superresolution, covering the topics of labeling density and specificity, sample preparation artifacts, speed vs. resolution vs. photodamage, and the implications of signal-to-background for Nyquist vs. Rayleigh definitions of resolution.

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