Sensing Neuronal Activity With Light
Read the full article Sensing Neuronal Activity With Lightat NeuroscienceNews.com.
For years, neuroscientists have been trying to develop tools that would allow them to clearly view the brain’s circuitry in action—from the first moment a neuron fires to the resulting behavior in a whole organism. To get this complete picture, neuroscientists are working to develop a range of new tools to study the brain. Researchers at Caltech have developed one such tool that provides a new way of mapping neural networks in a living organism.
The research is in Nature Communications and PNAS. (full access paywall)
Research: “Directed evolution of a far-red fluorescent rhodopsin” by R. Scott McIsaac, Martin K. M. Engqvist, Timothy Wannier, Adam Z. Rosenthal, Lukas Herwig, Nicholas C. Flytzanis, Eleonora S. Imasheva, Janos K. Lanyi, Sergei P. Balashov, Viviana Gradinaru, and Frances H. Arnold in PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413987111
“Archaerhodopsin variants with enhanced voltage-sensitive fluorescence in mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans neurons” by Nicholas C. Flytzanis, Claire N. Bedbrook, Hui Chiu, Martin K. M. Engqvist, Cheng Xiao, Ken Y. Chan, Paul W. Sternberg, Frances H. Arnold and Viviana Gradinaru in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5894
Image: Archer1 fluorescence in a cultured rat hippocampal neuron. By monitoring changes in this fluorescence at up to a thousand frames per second, researchers can track the electrical activity of the cell. Credit Nicholas Flytzanis, Claire Bedbrook and Viviana Gradinaru/Caltech.