Next-Generation Optical Technologies for Illuminating Genetically Targeted Brain Circuits

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 11/2006; 26(41):10380-6. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3863-06.2006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Emerging technologies from optics, genetics, and bioengineering are being combined for studies of intact neural circuits. The rapid progression of such interdisciplinary "optogenetic" approaches has expanded capabilities for optical imaging and genetic targeting of specific cell types. Here we explore key recent advances that unite optical and genetic approaches, focusing on promising techniques that either allow novel studies of neural dynamics and behavior or provide fresh perspectives on classic model systems.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many sex differences in brain and behavior related to reproduction are thought to have evolved based on sexual selection involving direct competition for mates during male-male competition and female choice. Therefore, certain aspects of brain circuitry can be viewed as secondary sexual characteristics. The study of proximate causes reveals that sex differences in the brain of mammals and birds reflect organizational and activational effects of sex steroids as articulated by Young and collaborators. However, sex differences in brain and behavior have been identified in the cognitive domain with no obvious link to reproduction. Recent views of sexual selection advocate for a broader view of how intra-sexual selection might occur including such examples as competition within female populations for resources that facilitate access to mates rather than mating competition per se. Sex differences can also come about for other reasons than sexual selection and recent work on neuroendocrine mechanisms has identified a plethora of ways that the brain can develop in a sex specific manner. Identifying the brain as sexually selected requires careful hypothesis testing so that one can link a sex-biased aspect of a neural trait to a behavior that provides an advantage in a competitive mating situation.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.08.009 · 10.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The twentieth century is considered for the technological revolution in different fields such as Industry, Research and Medicine. Scientific inventions have improved Research and Industrial output while medicine one step ahead. Numerous inventions have made a revolution in the management of life threatening diseases which were incurable decades ago. Due to these revelations, health care system is growing exponentially and especially, Gene Therapy is known as one of the most advanced approaches for the treatment of diseases associated with abnormal functioning of the genome. Gene therapy offers management of diseases/disorders through manipulation at genetic level either by replacement of abnormal gene(s) and /or repairs. Gene therapy essentially requires targeted and efficient gene delivery to tissue or cell. There are numerous methods available to carry out gene delivery either In-Vivo or Ex-Vivo for particular diseases. Both viral and non-viral vehicles used for delivery of exogenous genes have shown tremendous benefits in numerous clinical trials carried out over last few decades. Both the options, viral and non-viral tools, for gene delivery with remarkable significance are often linked with numerous complications. To surpass these complications, novel tools like Nano-constructs designed for nano-materials are in practice and have shown promising results in delivering candidate drugs and biomolecules. Here in this review, we have summarized the potential of new generation delivery vehicles and their advantages over viral and other available non-viral vehicles. Also, current information with respect to the design and functioning of Nano-constructs implemented in clinical study for management of many diseases is provided.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While the plasticity of excitatory synaptic connections in the brain has been widely studied, the plasticity of inhibitory connections is much less understood. Here, we present recent experimental and theoretical findings concerning the rules of spike timing-dependent inhibitory plasticity and their putative network function. This is a summary of a workshop at the COSYNE conference 2012.
    Frontiers in Neural Circuits 07/2013; 7:119. DOI:10.3389/fncir.2013.00119 · 2.95 Impact Factor


Available from