Next week, Pavel Ortinski will be going over a Nature Neuroscience article detailing some major caveats of utilizing optogenetics in neuroscience. Thomas Sudhof supplied a commentary on this article which can be found below:
Tim Hines brought this article from MIT News covering activity-induced double-stranded breaks in neurons to our attention:
And here's the abstract in Cell of the reference paper:
Additionally, Mike Wyatt followed up on this as well:
"Post script to the May presentation about modified cytosines. This paper offers pretty good evidence that 5-formyl cytosine is a distinct epigenetic signature, not merely an intermediate going from 5-mC or 5-hmC back to unmodified cytosine."
There has been a number of press articles written relating to the journal article for this week, "Long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain." Because of the highly politicized nature of marijuana and it's use, you can imagine that responses to this type of work run the gamut. I have linked a few pieces here from various outlets for perusal:
The Center for Brain Health at UT Dallas, "Study shows marijuana’s long-term effects on the brain"
- A basic synopsis of the paper with a few quotes from the researchers.
WGNTV, "Study says long term marijuana use impacts memory"
-Coverage of a more recent paper from a group at Northwestern, which we will briefly reference at NinJA. Here is a link to that paper, which has some problems that we can discuss as well.
NBC News, "Hazy Heads: Heavy Teen Pot Use Linked to Weaker Memories"
Coverage again of the above Northwestern study... by someone who OBVIOUSLY enjoys writing about this subject topic based on the headline and the website address: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/kids-who-smoke-pot-grow-um-i-forget-n322476
And lastly, High Times, "Top Pot Researcher Weighs in on Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use"
- They cite a scientific talk to the AAAS by Dr. Igor Grant, where he is on record saying, "“There is no evidence for long-term damaging effects [of marijuana] in adults.”
I look forward to seeing everyone on Friday. I think it promises to be an engaging journal club.
Nature Neuroscience just published a very useful review of neuroepigenomics and the current best practices and tools available. It comes from Ian Maze, David Allis, and Eric Nestler. Click here for full article.
Also, they have another set of articles as part of their "Big Data" focus. Here is the entire listing.
Press on "Bidirectional switch of the valence associated with a hippocampal contextual memory engram"
The article we are going over on 9/5/2014 has received a lot of attention from the press. Here is a sampling of some of the coverage to date:
Article in NYTimes.
Article in WashintonPost.
Article in Wired.
Additionally, the leading authors of the study recently had a great TED talk about the subject that's framed in terms of erasing memories of a bad ex-girlfriend, entitled "A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory." Here is the link if you are interested in watching it.
Science blogger, Sci Curious, has a very interesting article in Science News this month on the problems with researchers using exclusively inbred laboratory mice. To read it, click here.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently published an article in PNAS describing how neurons actually "hand-off" their used up mitochondria to astrocytes for degradation and disposal. This may have a large impact for many neurological disorders, as commented on by Science Daily:
But the implications of the results go beyond the optic nerve head, Marsh-Armstrong says, as a buildup of "garbage" inside cells causes neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and ALS. "By showing that this type of alternative disposal happens, we've opened up the door for others to investigate whether similar processes might be happening with other cell types and cellular parts other than mitochondria," he says.
Science Careers covered an interesting paper in Current Biology the describes an app that will calculate your odds of becoming a PI... and the somewhat sad observations that this app enabled them to make.
[This week] in Current Biology, three early-career scientists—two postdocs and a new principal investigator (PI)—published a paper that uses data scraped from PubMed to calculate the odds of becoming a PI. David van Dijk, the article's first author, and this correspondent built an app that allows you to input your data and calculate your own odds. (See our Q&A interview with the authors and related coverage at Science.)
This month's Nature Neuroscience issue is focusing on neurogenomics, which is progressing rapidly given the accelerated advances in Next Next Gen Sequencing. Here is an overview from the journal:
Advances in genomics is accelerating the pace of discovery in all areas of biology and medicine including psychiatry. Neuroscientists are now inundated with information implicating hundreds of regions across the genome that harbor rare and common risk variants for disorders of the brain. Navigating this data deluge and translating it into biological and mechanistic insights remains a formidable challenge. In this special Nature Neuroscience issue on neurogenomics, we present a series of perspectives and reviews by leading experts on the latest genomic methods, their recent discoveries in psychiatry and neurology and their implication for and application to neuroscience.
A number of the perspective and review pieces are very interesting. Here is the link if interested.
A new paper published in Neuron late last week from the Diamond lab describes tau as possessing many of the characteristics of a prion. Additionally, they report that tau exists as a multitude of strains, perhaps thus underlying "the phenotypic diversity of tauopathies" observed in many neurological diseases. Individuals interested in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease might want to discuss this paper for journal club. Click here for the link to the paper.