Navigation Links
Flipping a switch on neuron activity
Date:3/7/2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2011) -- All our daily activities, from driving to work to solving a crossword puzzle, depend on signals carried along the body's vast network of neurons. Propagation of these signals is, in turn, dependent on myriad small molecules within nerve cells -- receptors, ion channels, and transmitters -- turning on and off in complex cascades. Until recently, the study of these molecules in real time has not been possible, but researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Munich have attached light-sensing modules to neuronal molecules, resulting in molecules that can be turned on and off with simple flashes of light.

"We get millisecond accuracy," says Joshua Levitz, a graduate student at Berkeley and first author of the study. According to Levitz, the "biggest advantage is that we can probe specific receptors in living organisms." Previous methods using pharmacological agents were much less specific, affecting every receptor in every cell. Now, investigators can select individual cells for activation by focusing light. And by attaching light-sensing modules to one class of molecules at a time, they can parse the contributions of individual classes to neuronal behavior.

Levitz will be presenting a system in which G-protein-coupled receptors, molecules that play key roles in transmitting signals within cells, can be selectively activated. He is planning to use the system to study the hippocampus, a region of the brain where memories are formed, stored and maintained. There may be clinical utility to the system as well, he points out. G-protein-coupled receptors are also critical for vision in the retina, and light-sensing versions could potentially be introduced into people with damaged retinas in order to restore sight.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen R. Weiss
eweiss@biophysics.org
240-290-5606
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Scientists discover genetic switch that increases muscle blood supply
2. MIT-- parts of brain can switch functions
3. New lignin lite switchgrass boosts biofuel yield by more than one-third
4. Scripps Research study sheds light on RNA on/off switches
5. Scientists find the master switch for key immune cells in inflammatory diseases
6. Scripps Research scientist uncovers switch controlling protein production
7. When their tools get dull, leaf-cutters switch jobs
8. Scientists discover molecular switch that contributes to cellular aging process
9. University of Illinois researchers discover potential new virus in switchgrass
10. Researchers could use plants light switch to control cells
11. NC State develops more precise genetic off switches
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/22/2014)... Scientists have discovered a key molecular cog in a ... of circadian (daily) rhythms based on temperature. , Transcription ... based on external stresses such as light, rain, ... team of researchers at USC has isolated one, called ... here and there as needed while in keeping it ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... NEW YORK CITY (September 22, 2014)The Brain ... the award of NARSAD Young Investigator ... to 200 of the world,s most promising ... grants for groundbreaking neurobiological research will seek ... prevention strategies for psychiatric disorders that affect ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... have occurred in the wake of the huge King ... Forest. The King Fire is burning in steep ... Canyon, Silver Creek Canyon, and the Rubicon Canyon, north ... crossed into Placer County and burned onto the Tahoe ... anticipated spread is expected to be minimal on Sept. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Genetic switch regulates a plant's internal clock based on temperature 2Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards 200 NARSAD Young Investigator grants 2
... for a boat ride or even taken a drink from the ... how valuable? That,s always been a tough question for policy makers ... societal needs that compromise it, such as the need to grow ... so has been greatly enhanced by a new policy-making framework developed ...
... that there are 1.7 million species of animals, plants ... be discovered. Unfortunately, as new species are found, many ... biodiversity. The more diversity there is in a population, ... is key to ecosystem resilience. Disease, destruction of ...
... and decisions to use "least toxic pesticides" and "pesticides ... decade, but according to three scientific organizations the ... Society (APS) and the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section of the ... not the correct approaches to the pesticide component of ...
Cached Biology News:Study offers new tool for incorporating water impacts into policy decisions 2Persistence or extinction: Through a mathematical lens 2Persistence or extinction: Through a mathematical lens 3Scientists take objective look at terms 'least toxic pesticides' applied as 'last resort' 2Scientists take objective look at terms 'least toxic pesticides' applied as 'last resort' 3Scientists take objective look at terms 'least toxic pesticides' applied as 'last resort' 4Scientists take objective look at terms 'least toxic pesticides' applied as 'last resort' 5
(Date:9/23/2014)... New spin-out from Cancer ... Innovation Capital and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation  ... focused on harnessing the potential of circulating tumour ... treatment, today announced it has raised £4m in ... including Cambridge Innovation Capital and Johnson & Johnson ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... , September 22, 2014 ... the addition of the "Global Biotechnology Reagents ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) Biotechnology reagents ... to a system to detect and examine another ... generally used in laboratories to prepare, collect, and ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of ... ever created. , Known as a ,Star of ... over a quarter of a century and the team,s findings ... , Consisting of two molecular triangles, entwined about each other ... tiny each triangle is 114 atoms in length around ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... (PRWEB) September 22, 2014 This is ... of the M-Phenylenediamine (mPDA) industry in Global and ... industry, including definitions, applications and industry chain structure. Global ... with a focus on history, developments, trends and competitive ... and Chinese situation is also offered. , The report ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Inivata Raises £4m to Realise the Potential of ctDNA Analysis to Improve Cancer Treatment Through Simple Blood Tests 2Inivata Raises £4m to Realise the Potential of ctDNA Analysis to Improve Cancer Treatment Through Simple Blood Tests 3Inivata Raises £4m to Realise the Potential of ctDNA Analysis to Improve Cancer Treatment Through Simple Blood Tests 4Global Biotechnology Reagents Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Agilent, BD Biosciences, Bio-Rad, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Sigma-Aldrich and Thermo Fisher 2Global Biotechnology Reagents Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Agilent, BD Biosciences, Bio-Rad, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Sigma-Aldrich and Thermo Fisher 3m-Phenylenediamine Industry: mPDA Global & China Trend Analysis Now Available at ReportsnReports.com 2m-Phenylenediamine Industry: mPDA Global & China Trend Analysis Now Available at ReportsnReports.com 3
... /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Vasogen Inc.,(NASDAQ: VSGN ; TSX:VAS) today reported ... ended May 31, 2008. All dollar amounts referenced,herein are ... 31, 2008, our cash and cash equivalents totaled $12.4 ... The net loss for the second quarter of 2008 ...
... of Coronary Artery Disease ... Patients in Real-World Setting, ABBOTT PARK, Ill., July ... post-approval study, with six,hospital centers already recruiting and enrolling patients just ... V(TM),Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System. The XIENCE V USA study will,evaluate ...
... 9 Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, Inc.,(ABS), a ... and,strategic commercialization solutions, is pleased to announce ... business strategy, has been promoted to,Executive Director ... Susan Windham-Bannister, who has been appointed,President & ...
Cached Biology Technology:Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 2Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 3Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 4Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 5Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 6Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 7Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 8Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 9Vasogen Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results 10Abbott Begins Post-Approval Study of XIENCE V(TM) Drug Eluting Stent 2Abbott Begins Post-Approval Study of XIENCE V(TM) Drug Eluting Stent 3Abbott Begins Post-Approval Study of XIENCE V(TM) Drug Eluting Stent 4Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, Inc. Names Nandini Hadker as Executive Director, Succeeding Susan Windham-Bannister 2Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, Inc. Names Nandini Hadker as Executive Director, Succeeding Susan Windham-Bannister 3
... genome-wide microRNA expression profiling and built ... microfluidic on-chip synthesis platform. These microarrays ... comprehensive microRNA Expression Profiling Service. ... microRNA Microarray contains all known maize ...
... an excellent choice for supporting hydrocarbon processing. In ... this one-channel workhorse can double sample throughput by ... You get all the capability and reliability you ... that has the same proven performance of Agilents ...
... system combines world-class performance hardware, Cerity Networked ... world-renowned support and columns, as well as ... that lets you reach uncompromising results and ... data. The Agilent 6820 GC system is ...
... the six short years since publication of ... Walkers widely acclaimed Protein Protocols Handbook, there ... protein biochemistry. In recognition of the level ... rapid evolution of new methodologies directed to ...
Biology Products: