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  • Laser Microdissection Publication List

    This monthly updated reference list demonstrates the major application fields for laser microdissection in life science research.
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  • Interview with Dr. Shigeki Watanabe on Research in Synaptic Membrane Dynamics

    Dr. Shigeki Watanabe, principle investigator of the department of Cell Biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, held a workshop in Zürich, Switzerland on methods to study synaptic dynamics with millisecond precision. In collaboration with Dr. Andres Käch from the University of Zurich all workshop attendees enjoyed presentations and hands-on sessions on the EM ICE by Leica Microsystems with Light and Electrical Stimulation, revealing the latest developments in brain research. During this workshop Dr. Bernd Sägmüller from Leica Microsystems had the chance for an interview with Dr. Watanabe.
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  • Botulinum Neurotoxin Type-A Enters a Non-Recycling Pool of Synaptic Vesicles

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity.
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  • C. Elegans

    Work Efficiently in Developmental Biology with Stereo and Confocal Microscopy: C. elegans

    For scientists, technicians, and teachers working with the worm C. elegans in the research lab or classroom, this report is intended to give useful information to help improve their daly work. The aim is to make the work steps of worm picking, transgenesis, RNA interference, screening, and functional imaging efficient. It also details the various possibilities for equipping a research worm lab or biology classroom/teaching lab explaining worm methods.
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  • Freeze-Fracture Replication of Pyramidal Cells

    Application Note for Leica EM HPM100 - Frozen samples (90 μm thick slices frozen by HPM100) were inserted into a double replica table and then fractured into two pieces at –130°C (after insertion of the tissue into BAF 060 the samples should be left in the chamber for 20 min to reach the –130°C).
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  • Cultured Rat Hippocampal Neurons

    Application Note for Leica EM ICE - Rat Hippocampal neurons, cultured on 50 μm thick Aclar (Aclar embedding film, EMS) for 19 days, were frozen in the 100 μm deep side of lecithin coated (detailed protocol Appendix I) type A 3 mm Cu/Au carriers (Leica) and sandwiched with the flat side of lecithin coated type B 3 mm Cu/Au carriers (Leica). No additional filler was used, only cell culture medium with the addition of Hepes buffer pH 7.2 to a final concentration of 25 mM. Samples were frozen in a high-pressure freezer (Leica EM ICE).
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  • Label-free in vivo Imaging of Myelinated Axons in Health and Disease with Spectral Confocal Reflectance Microscopy

    We report a new technique for high-resolution in vivo imaging of myelinated axons in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve that requires no fluorescent labeling. This method, based on spectral confocal reflectance microscopy (SCoRe), uses a conventional laser scanning confocal system to generate images by merging the simultaneously reflected signals from multiple lasers of different wavelengths.
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  • Webinar: Advances in Neuroscience: New Methods for Correlating Structure and Function

    During this webcast, we will present recent advances in targeted cell labelling, tissue clearing, and fluorescence imaging methods for the study of brain function. These exciting methods are helping to accelerate the understanding of how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact both structurally and functionally.
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  • Super-Resolution Microscopy of the Synaptic Active Zone

    At the presynaptic active zone (AZ) a variety of specialized proteins are assembled to complex architectures, which set the basis for speed, precision and plasticity of synaptic transmission. Recently, super-resolution microscopy (SRM) techniques have begun to enter the neurosciences. These approaches combine high spatial resolution with the molecular specificity of fluorescence microscopy. Here, we discuss how SRM techniques can be used to obtain information on the organization of AZ proteins.
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  • Video Talk by Daniel Choquet: Our brain, this black box

    What happens in your brain when you learn something? When you store a memory? In this informative and fascinating talk, Daniel Choquet shares some of the most recent findings regarding those brain functions. Light makes it possible to see what is inside the powerful black box that is the brain, and opens new paths for fighting brain dysfunctions.
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  • JC Virus Inclusions in Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: Scaffolding Promyelocytic Leukemia Nuclear Bodies Grow With Cell Cycle Transition Through an S-to-G2–Like State in Enlarging Oligodendrocyte Nuclei

    In progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, JC virus–infected oligodendroglia display 2 distinct patterns of intranuclear viral inclusions: full inclusions in which progeny virions are present throughout enlarged nuclei and dot-shaped inclusions in which virions are clustered in subnuclear domains termed “promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies” (PML-NBs). Promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies may serve a scaffolding role in viral progeny production.
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  • Deeper Insights in Transparent Animals

    CLARITY clearing derivatives for multiphoton microscopy. Transparent organisms help us to identify spatial arrangements and connections of cells and tissues, especially neuronal circuits can easily be identified and characterized. CLARITY is on everyone's lips.
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  • A New Probe for Super-Resolution Imaging of Membranes Elucidates Trafficking Pathways

    The molecular composition of the organelles involved in membrane recycling is difficult to establish as a result of the absence of suitable labeling tools. We introduce in this paper a novel probe, named membrane-binding fluorophore-cysteine-lysine-palmitoyl group (mCLING), which labels the plasma membrane and is taken up during endocytosis.
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  • Video Interview with Werner Zuschratter

    Werner Zuschratter's personal focus is on analyzing the neuronal network, meaning the contacts between nerve cells. Out of this reason he started doing super-resolution microscopy: “It gives us deeper insight into the synapses, into the synaptic machinery, into the molecules we would like to see. Before we could only do electron microscopy and now, with super-resolution, we also have access by light microscopy to the deeper structures inside the nerve system.”
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  • Clearing Procedures for Deep Tissue Imaging

    Multi-channel multiphoton microscopy with dedicated optics for CLARITY. Why clearing? Curiosity is human nature. And nothing attracts as much curiosity as the inside of living organisms. While in ancient times those who cut human bodies open to do research were put to death, and modern anatomy started only after Pope Clement VII allowed dissection, we can now watch brains working in living animals – and have a good chance of soon being able to interfere with the observed activities for healing (or control) purposes.
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  • Abstracts of the 4th European Super-Resolution User-Club Meeting

    The 4th Super-Resolution User Club Meeting was held in collaboration with Christian Eggeling and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford, UK. Here we present the abstracts of the talks and interviews with participants.
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  • Video: The Ascent – a Brief History of the Brain

    This video features a few of the major scientists and findings that have contributed to modern neuroscience: The history of our knowledge of the brain, how technical and conceptual advances led to new insights and the human side of neuroscience through quotations from key individuals on the nature of the brain and consciousness.
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  • Webinar: Advances in Neurotechniques – Methods that Reveal the Structure and Function of the Brain

    In this webinar Karl Deisseroth and Viviana Gradinaru will explain the most recent neurotechniques and how these are being used to advance our knowledge of the brain.
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  • The Morbus Parkinson Puzzle

    A characteristic sign of M. Parkinson is the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in the mid-brain, specifically in the substantia nigra (SN, black substance). Different causes and forms of this disease have been identified. In the case of the genetic familial form, for example, it has been possible to identify various genes that have a causal influence for M. Parkinson.
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  • Webinar: Super-Resolution Imaging of Neurons

    In this webinar, Daniel Choquet, Xiaowei Zhuang, and Stephan Sigrist will discuss how super-resolution imaging can elucidate the inner workings of neurons at the single-molecule and macro-molecular levels using specialized probes and optical techniques they have helped design and pioneer in the field of neuroscience.
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  • Map the Brain with CLARITY

    Imaging whole brains with CLARITY and multiphoton microscopy. Image a whole brain without sectioning? Investigate neuronal circuits without reconstruction? Perform molecular phenotyping without destroying subcellular structures? Understanding the brain with molecular resolution and global scope has always been challenging. The novel CLARITY method, developed by the Deisseroth laboratory at Stanford University, USA, pushes the barrier of deep tissue imaging a big step ahead.
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  • Optogenetic Toolkit Goes Multicolor

    Optogenetics is a technique that allows scientists to control neurons’ electrical activity with light by engineering them to express light-sensitive proteins. Within the past decade, it has become a very powerful tool for discovering the functions of different types of cells in the brain.
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  • The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today

    From neuroscience, biotechnology and digital media to sustainable energy and cloud computing, almost everything today is somehow affected – and sometimes entirely reshaped – by scientific and technological advances.
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  • Patch Clamp Recordings from Embryonic Zebrafish Mauthner Cells

    Mauthner cells (M-cells) are large reticulospinal neurons located in the hindbrain of teleost fish. They are key neurons involved in a characteristic behavior known as the C-start or escape response that occurs when the organism perceives a threat. The M-cell has been extensively studied in adult goldfish where it has been shown to receive a wide range of excitatory, inhibitory and neuromodulatory signals. We have been examining M-cell activity in embryonic zebrafish in order to study aspects of synaptic development in a vertebrate preparation. In the late 1990s Ali and colleagues developed a preparation for patch clamp recording from M-cells in zebrafish embryos, in which the CNS was largely intact.
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  • New Labeling Tools Can Help to Realize the Full Potential of Super-Resolution Microscopy

    Since super-resolution microscopy techniques revolutionized the concept of light microscopy by overcoming the physical diffraction limit, STED microscopy and other super-resolution techniques have aroused considerable interest. The diffraction limit imposes no more constraints on resolution. New microscopes with ever-decreasing resolution limits are being developed, for instance by the inventor of STED microscopy, Prof. Stefan Hell, now director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.
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  • Webinar: Confocal and Two-Photon Microscopy Methods for Imaging the Brain

    Brain research using confocal and multiphoton microscopy. A deeper understanding of brain function requires visualization of the complex architecture of neurons and their connections. In this special webinar, two researchers working at the cutting-edge of brain imaging will discuss their applications of the latest confocal and two-photon microscopy techniques. From fluorescent labeling and imaging of neural circuits using the Brainbow system to in vivo imaging of brain structure, function, and blood flow, this webinar will give researchers a deeper appreciation of the potential for new microscopy methods to unlock the secrets of the cellular world. Unique insights into sample handling and processing of multicolor images will also be presented, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.
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  • Structural and Molecular Interrogation of Intact Biological Systems

    To understand structure and function of brains or other complex biological systems, the method of choice is microscopy. In particular, confocal microscopy is employed to reveal three-dimensional connectivity and functional interactions. To come to a real insight into brain’s way of working, one must look deep into the tissue – which usually is non-transparent. A couple of clearing methods have been developed in the past, but they usually come along with distortions of the structures, incompatibilities with fluorescence stainings or are just prohibitively toxic to the lab technician.
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  • Optogenetics

    Optogenetics is a technique that allows light-controlled responses of transfected cells. The cells are genetically modified by introduction of genes that code for light-induced channels or ion pumps. The term optogenetics denotes the light control feature introduced by genetic engineering.
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  • Sharp Live Images from the Mouse Brain

    To explore the most intricate structures of the brain in order to decipher how it functions – Stefan Hell’s team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen has made a significant step closer to this goal. Using the STED microscopy developed by Hell, the scientists have, for the first time, managed to record detailed live images inside the brain of a living mouse.
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  • Region-Specific Gene Expression in Adult Mouse CNS Tissues

    Different areas of the Central Nervous System (CNS) display a specific and selective gene expression profile. Here, we used the Laser Microdissection system Leica LMD6500 to study region-specific mRNA expression in the adult mouse retina and hippocampus.
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