Navigation Links
New MIT tool probes brain circuits

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Researchers at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT report in the Jan. 24 online edition of Science that they have created a way to see, for the first time, the effect of blocking and unblocking a single neural circuit in a living animal.

This revolutionary method allowed Susumu Tonegawa, Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, and colleagues to see how bypassing a major memory-forming circuit in the brain affected learning and memory in mice.

Our data strongly suggest that the hippocampal neural pathway called the tri-synaptic pathway, or TSP, plays a crucial role in quickly forming memories when encountering new events and episodes in day-to-day life, Tonegawa said. Our results indicate that the decline of these abilities, such as that which accompanies neurodegenerative diseases and normal aging in humans, is likely to be due, at least in part, to the malfunctioning of this circuit.

Combining several cutting-edge genetic engineering techniques, Tonegawa's laboratory invented a method called doxycycline-inhibited circuit exocytosis-knockdown, or DICE-K-an acronym that also reflects Tonegawa's admiration of ace Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. DICE-K allows researchers for the first time to induce and reverse a blockade of synaptic transmission in specific neural circuits in the hippocampus.

The brain is the most complex machine ever assembled on this planet, Tonegawa said. Our cognitive abilities and behaviors are based on tens of thousands of molecules that compose several billion neurons, as well as how those neurons are connected.

One effective way to understand how this immensely complex cellular network works in a major form of cognition like memory is to intervene in the specific neural circuit suspected to be involved, he said.

Computing memories

The hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped brain region, plays a part in memory and spatial na

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Studying component parts of living cells with carbon nanotube cellular probes
2. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
3. The human brain: Detective of auditory and visual change
4. Weill Cornell team discovers how brains own tPA helps regulate blood flow to neurons
5. MIT: Culture influences brain function
6. International scientists tackle obstacles to treating brain disorders
7. Why diving marine mammals resist brain damage from low oxygen
8. Biocapture surfaces produced for study of brain chemistry
9. Brain-computer link systems on the brink of breakthrough, study finds
10. Lipids in the brain an important factor for Alzheimers disease?
11. New studies suggest brain overgrowth in 1-year-olds linked to development of autism
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/2/2015)... , Oct. 02 2015 ... the "Enforcing the Law Using Biometrics" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... their offering. --> Research and Markets ... the "Enforcing the Law Using Biometrics" ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  The U.S. Court of ... another key ruling in favor of Crossmatch ™, ... fingerprint scanner company Suprema and its U.S. partner Mentalix ... a trade provision that declares it unlawful to engage ... infringing two of Crossmatch,s patents, the 5,900,993 patent and ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... is excited to be named one of the first 100 ... announcement was recently made at an invite-only IBM Watson: ... Francisco , where iDAvatars presented a demo of its ... "It is both an honor and a privilege to be ... the cognitive power of IBM Watson in our product, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
... Energy (DOE),s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified a potential ... diesel engines but would be clean, green, renewable and produced ... a JBEI research team engineered strains of two microbes, a ... a member of the terpene class of chemical compounds that ...
... Clemson University researchers recently reported finding a new class ... how cells repair damaged DNA. The finding from Cao,s ... with computational chemist Brian Dominy appeared in the Sept. ... "A new family of deamination repair enzymes in ...
... Five new research projects announced today (27 September) by ... to overcome some of the fundamental limitations of photosynthesis ... the sun. This research could lead to major increases ... of renewable chemicals. Just over 2M has been ...
Cached Biology News:
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oct. 8, 2015  ATCC, the premier global biological ... has been selected by The Michael J. Fox Foundation ... to academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology organizations committed to speed ... the United States , and more than 5 ... the United States , and more than 5 ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Maryland , October 8, 2015 ... .   --> Goldman Small ... in the small cap and microcap sectors, announced ... research report on PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc. (OTCQB - ... focused on developing and preparing treatments for cancer ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... WILMINGTON, Del. , Oct. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of CRISPR-Cas technologies for genome editing, jointly announced ... DuPont and Caribou have cross-licensed their respective patent portfolios, ... CRISPR-Cas technology applications in major row crops, and ... applications. --> ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... , Oct. 8, 2015  Today the Wyss Institute ... launch of its start-up company Opsonix Inc. ... Harvard,s Office of Technology Development (OTD) and ... sepsis therapy for clinical use. ... least a million people every year in the U.S. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
... Corp.,(Nasdaq: GENZ ) today announced that the ... for Renvela(TM) (sevelamer carbonate) for,the control of serum ... Renvela is a next-generation version of Renagel(R) (sevelamer,hydrochloride), ... "Since its approval in 1998, Renagel has ...
... Capital Holdings Asia and,its co-investors today announced that ... Corporation, the world,s largest privately held,crop- protection and ... 250 billion (US$2.2 billion). The sale will culminate ... market private,equity firm with investment teams in Japan, ...
... Oct. 22 AMDL, Inc. (Amex:,ADL), headquartered ... and Jilin, China, through its wholly owned ... biopharma company that,engages in the development, manufacture ... AMDL announced today that its,management will present ...
Cached Biology Technology: