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ROCKVILLE, MD, United States

Choi J.K.,Brain Bio
IET Systems Biology

Epigenetics is the study of regulatory mechanisms that are not accompanied by the action of genetic elements. Recently, a system-wide extension of epigenetics has been driven by the rapid evolution of genomics technology. This means not simply profiling multiple genes together as gene expression microarrays, but also factoring in the crosstalk among various epigenetic components and extending our focus to relatively uncharted genomic areas, including intergenic and intragenic regions. Although this exciting extension provides many interesting research topics as described in this review, the future expansion of epigenomics to cover multiple samples will offer an even more profound opportunity for systems biology research. © 2010 © The Institution of Engineering and Technology. Source

Whole-genome expression profiling in postmortem brain tissue has recently provided insight into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Previous microarray and RNA-Seq studies identified several biological processes including synaptic function, mitochondrial function and immune/inflammation response as altered in the cortex of subjects with schizophrenia. Now using RNA-Seq data from the hippocampus, we have identified 144 differentially expressed genes in schizophrenia cases as compared with unaffected controls. Immune/inflammation response was the main biological process over-represented in these genes. The upregulation of several of these genes, IFITM1, IFITM2, IFITM3, APOL1 (Apolipoprotein L1), ADORA2A (adenosine receptor 2A), IGFBP4 and CD163 were validated in the schizophrenia subjects using data from the SNCID database and with quantitative RT-PCR. We identified a co-expression module associated with schizophrenia that includes the majority of differentially expressed genes related to immune/inflammation response as well as with the density of parvalbumin-containing neurons in the hippocampus. The results indicate that abnormal immune/inflammation response in the hippocampus may underlie the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and may be associated with abnormalities in the parvalbumin-containing neurons that lead to the cognitive deficits of the disease. Source

As biological science advances, there is a need for new technical tools to study biological matters. In neuroscience, new knowledge on the nervous system is discovered through biological experiments carried out under in vitro conditions. As experiments become more delicate, the technical requirements also increase. Recent advances in nano-and microscale technologies have increased the applicability of new emerging technology to neurobiology and neural engineering. As a result, many materials that were not originally developed for neural interfaces have become attractive candidates to sense neural signals, stimulate neurons, and grow nerve cells for tissue engineering. This article focuses on the material requirements for in vitro neural interfaces and introduces materials that are used to design various neural interface platforms in vitro. © 2012 Materials Research Society. Source

It has been proposed that the general function of the brain is inference, which corresponds quantitatively to the minimization of uncertainty (or the maximization of information). However, there has been a lack of clarity about exactly what this means. Efforts to quantify information have been in agreement that it depends on probabilities (through Shannon entropy), but there has long been a dispute about the definition of probabilities themselves. The "frequentist" view is that probabilities are (or can be) essentially equivalent to frequencies, and that they are therefore properties of a physical system, independent of any observer of the system. E.T. Jaynes developed the alternate "Bayesian" definition, in which probabilities are always conditional on a state of knowledge through the rules of logic, as expressed in the maximum entropy principle. In doing so, Jaynes and others provided the objective means for deriving probabilities, as well as a unified account of information and logic (knowledge and reason). However, neuroscience literature virtually never specifies any definition of probability, nor does it acknowledge any dispute concerning the definition. Although there has recently been tremendous interest in Bayesian approaches to the brain, even in the Bayesian literature it is common to find probabilities that are purported to come directly and unconditionally from frequencies. As a result, scientists have mistakenly attributed their own information to the neural systems they study. Here I argue that the adoption of a strictly Jaynesian approach will prevent such errors and will provide us with the philosophical and mathematical framework that is needed to understand the general function of the brain. Accordingly, our challenge becomes the identification of the biophysical basis of Jaynesian information and logic. I begin to address this issue by suggesting how we might identify a probability distribution over states of one physical system (an "object") conditional only on the biophysical state of another physical system (an "observer"). The primary purpose in doing so is not to characterize information and inference in exquisite, quantitative detail, but to be as clear and precise as possible about what it means to perform inference and how the biophysics of the brain could achieve this goal. © 2012 by the authors. Source

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 752.98K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer and other dementias present significant societal and economic burden The number of patients suffering from these disorders grows rapidly owing to the aging of the world population Alzheimerandapos s Association projects that the number of Americans living with Alzheimerandapos s disease AD will increase from M today to M in Management and treatment of brain disorders is a critical task facing the healthcare innovation system continuing progress in this field will depend on early high confidence diagnosis Amyloid imaging agents the new promising class of Positron Emission Tomography PET radiopharmaceuticals enable diagnosis of Alzheimerandapos s pathology at the early stages of disease Brain Biosciences seeks to make neurological PET imaging affordable and widely available both in the clinic and in the research laboratory To achieve this goal we aim to develop validate and obtain k FDA clearance for CerePETandquot a compact portable high performance and cost effective PET scanner for brain imaging This innovative device is designed to achieve high resolution at a fraction of the cost of currently marketed whole body PET systems CerePET applications include i evaluation of amyloid burden in patients with suspected Alzheimer disease mild cognitive impairment and other neurodegenerative disorders ii multicenter clinical trials of CNS targeted pharmaceuticals using PET scan as a biomarker iii clinical neuroscience research During this Fast track SBIR project CerePET will be rigorously validated using a set of internationally recognized tests CerePET imaging performance will be characterized per NEMA NU the scanner will be used in a clinical study comparing amyloid burden in patients with Alzheimerandapos s disease and healthy controls PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This application proposes to develop small footprint high performance Positron Emission Tomography PET scanner optimized for brain imaging This device will lower the cost and increase availability of neurological PET examinations both in the clinical and research settings

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