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Genetically encoded optical indicators for the analysis of neuronal circuits

In a departure from previous top-down or bottom-up strategies used to understand neuronal circuits, many forward-looking research programs now place the circuit itself at their centre. This has led to an emphasis on the dissection and elucidation of neuronal circuit elements and mechanisms, and on studies that ask how these circuits generate behavioural outputs. This movement towards circuit-centric
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In vivo genome editing using a high-efficiency TALEN system

Improvements in artificial transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) provide a powerful new approach for targeted zebrafish genome editing and functional genomic applications1–5. Using the Goldy TALEN modified scaffold and zebrafish delivery system, it was shown that this enhanced TALEN toolkit has a high efficiency in inducing locus-specific DNA breaks in
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ENCODE Project Writes Eulogy For Junk DNA

SCIENCE VOL 337 7 SEPTEMBER 201230 research papers, including six in Nature and additional papers published by Science, sound the death knell for the idea that our DNA is mostly littered with useless bases. A decadelong project, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), has found that 80% of the human genome serves some purpose, biochemically speaking.
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Axion search by Liquid Xenon

Arisaka's group has studied a possibility of searching for axion and axion-like particles by liquid Xenon detectors such as XENON100 and XENON1T. The paper has been submitted to Astroparticle Physcis Journal, and available athttp://arxiv.org/abs/1209.3810
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Disorder of Neuronal Circuits in Autism Is Reversible, New Study Suggests

People with autism suffer from a pervasive developmental disorder of the brain that becomes evident in early childhood. Peter Scheiffele and Kaspar Vogt, Professors at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, have identified a specific dysfunction in neuronal circuits that is caused by autism. In the journal Science, the scientists also report about their success in reversing these neuronal changes.
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Cross-sensory transfer of sensory-motor information: visuomotor learning affects performance on an audiomotor task, using sensory-substitution

Visual-to-auditory sensory-substitution devices allow users to perceive a visual image using sound. Using a motor-learning task, researchers in Israel found that new sensory-motor information was generalized across sensory modalities. They imposed a rotation when participants reached to visual targets, and found that not only seeing, but also hearing the location of targets via a sensory-substitution
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Reversible switching between epigenetic states in honeybee behavioral subcastes

In honeybee societies, distinct caste phenotypes are created from the same genotype, suggesting a role for epigenetics in deriving these behaviorally different phenotypes. The authors found no differences in DNA methylation between irreversible worker and queen castes, but substantial differences between nurses and forager subcastes. Reverting foragers back to nurses reestablished methylation levels
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Stem Cell Revolution: Regenerating the Eye

Research is breaking new ground that promises to change our ability to treat eye disease forever.Although stem cells were discovered in the mid-1800s and the subject of experimentation in the early 1900s, it’s only been in recent decades that they’ve truly caught the imagination of medical researchers and the public. Today, our understanding of these cells is expanding dramatically, and research
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Clue to Cause of Alzheimer's Dementia Found in Brain Samples

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a key difference in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease and those who are cognitively normal but still have brain plaques that characterize this type of dementia.The new study, available online inAnnals of Neurology, still implicates amyloid beta in causing Alzheimer's dementia, but not necessarily in the form
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Humans can learn new information during sleep

During sleep, humans can strengthen previously acquired memories, but whether they can acquire entirely new information remains unknown. The nonverbal nature of the olfactory sniff response, in which pleasant odors drive stronger sniffs and unpleasant odors drive weaker sniffs, allowed us to test learning in humans during sleep. Using partial-reinforcement trace conditioning, the authors paired pleasant
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