Posts Tagged ‘recording’

Synthetic recording and in situ readout of lineage information in single cells

Reconstructing the lineage relationships and dynamic event histories of individual cells within their native spatial context is a long-standing challenge in biology. Many biological processes of interest occur in optically opaque or physically inaccessible contexts, necessitating approaches other than direct imaging. Here, we describe a new synthetic system that enables cells to record lineage information and event histories in the genome in a format that can be subsequently read out in single cells in situ. This system, termed Memory by Engineered Mutagenesis with Optical In situ Readout (MEMOIR), is based on a set of barcoded recording elements termed scratchpads. The state of a given scratchpad can be irreversibly altered by Cas9-based targeted mutagenesis, and read out in single cells through multiplexed single-molecule RNA fluorescence hybridization (smFISH). To demonstrate a proof of principle of MEMOIR, we engineered mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to contain multiple scratchpads and other recording components. In these cells, scratchpads were altered in a progressive and stochastic fashion as cells proliferated. Analysis of the final states of scratchpads in single cells in situ enabled reconstruction of the lineage trees of cell colonies. Combining analysis of endogenous gene expression with lineage reconstruction in the same cells further allowed inference of the dynamic rates at which ES cells switch between two gene expression states. Finally, using simulations, we showed how parallel MEMOIR systems operating in the same cell can enable recording and readout of dynamic cellular event histories. MEMOIR thus provides a versatile platform for information recording and in situ, single cell readout across diverse biological systems.

Archived Webinar: A Debate on Academic Freedom

On September 27, as part of Social Science Space’s series on academic freedom, three of the contributors to that series – Daniel Nehring, Dylan Kerrigan, and Joanna Williams – participated in an hour-long webinar to discuss some of the issues at the heart of this issue.

The post Archived Webinar: A Debate on Academic Freedom appeared first on Social Science Space.

Rapid signalling in distinct dopaminergic axons during locomotion and reward

Dopaminergic projection axons from the midbrain to the striatum are crucial for motor control, as their degeneration in Parkinson disease results in profound movement deficits. Paradoxically, most recording methods report rapid phasic dopamine signalling (~100-ms bursts) in response to unpredicted rewards, with little evidence for movement-related signalling. The leading model posits that phasic signalling in striatum-targeting dopamine neurons drives reward-based learning, whereas slow variations in firing (tens of seconds to minutes) in these same neurons bias animals towards or away from movement. However, current methods have provided little evidence to support or refute this model. Here, using new optical recording methods, we report the discovery of rapid phasic signalling in striatum-targeting dopaminergic axons that is associated with, and capable of triggering, locomotion in mice. Axons expressing these signals were largely distinct from those that responded to unexpected rewards. These results suggest that dopaminergic neuromodulation can differentially impact motor control and reward learning with sub-second precision, and indicate that both precise signal timing and neuronal subtype are important parameters to consider in the treatment of dopamine-related disorders.

VIBRANT: New virtual research communities to create and share data on biodiversity

Data sharing tools developed by an EU project are helping scientists worldwide understand more about the planet’s millions of species. A new article published on CORDIS and DAE looks into the benefits of the FP7 funded project VIBRANT.

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