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The NaV1.7 sodium channel: from molecule to man

The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 is preferentially expressed in peripheral somatic and visceral sensory neurons, olfactory sensory neurons and sympathetic ganglion neurons. NaV1.7 accumulates at nerve fibre endings and amplifies small subthreshold depolarizations, poising it to act as a threshold channel that regulates excitability. Genetic and functional studies have added to the evidence that
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XMASS announced their solar axion limit

XMASS dark matter experiment in Japan announced their solar axion limit, using 6.7 days, total of 5.6 ton-days.  Their limit below 1 keV axion mass is g_Ae < 5.4 × 10−11 (90% C.L.). http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.6153 (The final plot is given below.)Their paper can be compared to the predicted sensitivity given by Arisaka Lab's analysis:http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.3810
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Quantitative analysis of peptides and proteins in biomedicine by targeted mass spectrometry

Targeted mass spectrometry (MS) is becoming widely used in academia and in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for sensitive and quantitative detection of proteins, peptides and post-translational modifications. In Nature methods,  Gillette and Carr describe the increasing importance of targeted MS technologies in clinical proteomics and the potential key roles these techniques will have
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All-in-one optogenetics

Scientists reverse engineer fluorescent proteins for light-mediated control.Optogenetics is a young discipline that is coming on strong in fields such as neuroscience and protein signaling. It refers to the use of light-sensitive proteins to control cellular processes in living cells and organisms. Optogenetic tools can also be used to sense biological processes. Each of these applications has been
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A cellular mechanism for cortical associations: an organizing principle for the cerebral cortex

A basic feature of intelligent systems such as the cerebral cortex is the ability to freely associate aspects of perceived experience with an internal representation of the world and make predictions about the future. Here, a hypothesis is presented that the extraordinary performance of the cortex derives from an associative mechanism built in at the cellular level to the basic cortical neuronal unit:
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Neuronal reference frames for social decisions in primate frontal cortex

Steve Chang et. al. studied encoding of the outcomes of social decisions in three frontal cortical areas as monkeys performed a social reward allocation task. Orbitofrontal cortex neurons signaled received rewards, anterior cingulate (ACC) sulcus neurons signaled foregone rewards, and the ACC gyrus was involved in the computation of shared experience and social reward. Nature Neuroscience (2012) doi:10.1038/nn.3287
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Closed-loop optogenetic control of thalamus as a tool for interrupting seizures after cortical injury

Cerebrocortical injuries such as stroke are a major source of disability. Maladaptive consequences can result from post-injury local reorganization of cortical circuits. For example, epilepsy is a common sequela of cortical stroke, but the mechanisms responsible for seizures following cortical injuries remain unknown. In addition to local reorganization, long-range, extra-cortical connections might
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A subpopulation of nociceptors specifically linked to itch

A method for tagging single transcripts with two fluorescent markers can be used to study many aspects of gene expression, including intrinsic noise in transcription or polymerase dynamics at a single gene, report Singer and colleagues.Lian Han et al.Nature Neuroscience (2012) doi:10.1038/nn.3289
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A subpopulation of nociceptors specifically linked to itch

Dorsal root ganglion neurons respond to both painful and itchy stimuli, but are there itch-specific neurons? Here the authors describe a group of MrgprA3-expressing neurons that innervate the superficial layers of the skin and selectively sense itch.Lian Han et al.Nature Neuroscience (2012) doi:10.1038/nn.3289
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Nine-Year WMAP results announced

The model fit implies that the age of the universe is 13.772+/-0.059 Gyr, and the fit Hubble constant is H0 = 69.32+/-0.80 km/s/Mpc. Inflation is also supported: the fluctuations are adiabatic, with Gaussian random phases; the detection of a deviation of the scalar spectral index from unity reported earlier by WMAP now has high statistical significance (n_s = 0.9608+/-0.0080); and the universe is close
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