The development of better biotech enzymes Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions, such as laundry detergent digesting protein stains, which are otherwise very difficult to remove. A research team led by Professor Kam-bo Wong of the Centre for Protein Science and Crystallography, School of Life Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong demonstrated a fundamental principle in changing the activity of enzymes by means of protein engineering. The findings provide potential insights into the future design of biotechnologically important enzymes, and will be published in next week's issue of the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Proteins from thermophiles, organisms that live in high temperatures, are more resistant to heat denaturation than those from mesophiles, organisms that live in moderate temperatures. One intriguing problem is that thermophilic enzymes are less active than their mesophilic homologs despite having similar structures.
The Connectome — Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Lead investigators Hanspeter Pfister (SEAS ), Jeff Lichtman (FAS/Molecular & Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science) and Clay Reid (HMS/Neurobiology, Center for Brain Science) Description The overall goal of the Connectome project is to map, store, analyze and visualize the actual neural circuitry of the peripheral and central nervous systems in experimental organisms, based on a very large number of images from high-resolution microscopy. The proposing team from the Center for Brain Sciences has already demonstrated its capacity for, and expertise in, high-throughput imaging. The critical challenges are computational, as the total number of voxels needed to establish the Connectome is ~1014.
The Human Connectome Project The Human Connectome Project Human Connectome The NIH Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. The overarching purpose of the Project is to acquire and share data about the structural and functional connectivity of the human brain. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analyzing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics. Altogether, the Human Connectome Project will lead to major advances in our understanding of what makes us uniquely human and will set the stage for future studies of abnormal brain circuits in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Consortia The Blueprint has funded two major cooperative agreements that will take complementary approaches to deciphering the brain's complex wiring diagram. Latest Updates Washington University in St.
Generating Text from Functional Brain Images 1 Introduction Over the last decade, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become a primary tool for identifying the neural correlates of mental activity. Traditionally, the aim of fMRI experiments has been to identify discrete, coherent neuroanatomic regions engaged during specific forms of information processing. More recently, it has become clear that important information can be extracted from fMRI by attending instead to broadly distributed patterns of activation. In all of these cases, the key step involves assigning each brain image to one in a small set of discrete categories, each occurring within both a training set and a test set of images. Even more strikingly, a few recent studies have demonstrated the feasibility of a generative approach to fMRI decoding, where an artifact is produced from a brain image. The success of this work leads to the question of what may be produced from a brain image if the mental content is not amenable to pictorial rendering. 2.1 Data
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Connectomics Connectomics is the production and study of connectomes: comprehensive maps of connections within an organism's nervous system, typically its brain or eye. Because these structures are extremely complex, methods within this field use a high-throughput application of neural imaging and histological techniques in order to increase the speed, efficiency, and resolution of maps of the multitude of neural connections in a nervous system. While the principal focus of such a project is the brain, any neural connections could theoretically be mapped by connectomics, including, for example, neuromuscular junctions. Tools Model Systems Aside from the human brain, some of the model systems used for connectomics research are the mouse, the fruit fly, the nematode C. elegans, and the barn owl. Applications Criticism Comparison to genomics See also References Further reading External links
Human Connectome Project 7 Mind-Bending Facts About Dreams | REM Sleep & Lucid Dreams | Nightmares & Violent Dreams | Sleep Disorders Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor | December 02, 2011 02:55pm ET Credit: Stockxpert You are getting sleepy, very sleepy. When your head hits the pillow it’s lights out for the brain and body, right? Not if you consider the brain cells that must fire to produce the sometimes vivid and sometimes downright haunted dreams that take place during the rapid-eye-movement stage of your sleep. Why do some people have nightmares while others really spend their nights in bliss?