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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Lights And Larvae: Using Optogenetics To Teach Recombinant Dna And Neurobiology, John Titlow, Heidi Anderson, Robin L. Cooper Sep 2014

Lights And Larvae: Using Optogenetics To Teach Recombinant Dna And Neurobiology, John Titlow, Heidi Anderson, Robin L. Cooper

Biology Faculty Publications

Switching genes between organisms and controlling an animal’s brain using lasers may seem like science fiction, but with advancements in a technique called optogenetics, such experiments are now common in neuroscience research. Optogenetics combines recombinant DNA technology with a controlled light source to help researchers address biomedical questions in the life sciences. The technique has gained the most traction in neurobiology—the biology of the nervous system—where specific wavelengths of light are used to control or measure the activity of neurons in transgenic organisms (i.e., those with artificially inserted genes).

These optical recording and stimulation techniques are ...


Nel Positively Regulates The Genesis Of Retinal Ganglion Cells By Promoting Their Differentiation And Survival During Development, Chizu Nakamoto, Soh-Leh Kuan, Amy Findlay, Elaine Durward, Zhufeng Ouyang, Masaru Nakamoto, Ewa Zakrewska, Takuma Endo Jan 2014

Nel Positively Regulates The Genesis Of Retinal Ganglion Cells By Promoting Their Differentiation And Survival During Development, Chizu Nakamoto, Soh-Leh Kuan, Amy Findlay, Elaine Durward, Zhufeng Ouyang, Masaru Nakamoto, Ewa Zakrewska, Takuma Endo

Biology Faculty Publications

For correct functioning of the nervous system, the appropriate number and complement of neuronal cell types must be produced during development. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the production of individual classes of neurons are poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the function of the thrombospondin-1–like glycoprotein, Nel (neural epidermal growth factor [EGF]-like), in the generation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in chicks. During eye development, Nel is strongly expressed in the presumptive retinal pigment epithelium and RGCs. Nel overexpression in the developing retina by in ovo electroporation increases the number of RGCs, whereas the number of ...


Inducing Task-Relevant Responses To Speech In The Sleeping Brain, Sid Kouider, Thomas Andrillon, Leonardo S. Barbosa, Louise Goupil, Tristan A. Bekinschtein Jan 2014

Inducing Task-Relevant Responses To Speech In The Sleeping Brain, Sid Kouider, Thomas Andrillon, Leonardo S. Barbosa, Louise Goupil, Tristan A. Bekinschtein

Biology Faculty Publications

Falling asleep leads to a loss of sensory awareness and to the inability to interact with the environment [1]. While this was traditionally thought as a consequence of the brain shutting down to external inputs, it is now acknowledged that incoming stimuli can still be processed, at least to some extent, during sleep [2]. For instance, sleeping participants can create novel sensory associations between tones and odors [3] or reactivate existing semantic associations, as evidenced by event-related potentials [4; 5; 6 ; 7]. Yet, the extent to which the brain continues to process external stimuli remains largely unknown. In particular, it ...