Waltham, MA, United States

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA, United States

Brandeis University is an American private research university with a liberal arts focus. It is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, 9 miles west of Boston. The university has an enrollment of approximately 3,600 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students. It was tied for 32nd among national universities in the United States in U.S. News & World Report 's 2014 rankings. Forbes listed Brandeis University as number 51 among all national universities and liberal arts colleges combined in 2013.Brandeis was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian Jewish community-sponsored coeducational institution on the site of the former Middlesex University. The university is named for Louis Brandeis , the first Jewish Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Wikipedia.

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Brandeis University | Date: 2017-07-26

Disclosed herein is a nucleic acid amplification process referred to as Linear-Expo- Linear Polymerase Chain Reaction (LEL-PCR).

Brandeis University | Date: 2017-03-01

Provided herein are methods for detecting and identifying strains of mycobacteria, and compositions and kits for performing such methods. In particular, nucleic acid amplification and fluorescence detection methods are provided for the detection and differentiation of mycobacteria based on, for example, pathogenicity, species, and antibiotic resistance or sensitivity. Compositions and methods are provided herein to identify and differentiate mycobacteria in mixtures of different mycobacteria and mycobacteria and non-mycobacteria.

Disclosed are peptides that contain up to about 35 amino acids, including a plurality of aromatic amino acid residues and either (i) an amino acid residue that is phosphorylated or sulfated, or (ii) an amino acid comprising an ester-moiety linked via peptide bond, or both (i) and (ii), wherein the peptide is capable of self-assembly to form nanofibrils in the presence of an enzyme that hydrolyzes the phosphate group, the sulfate group, or the ester-moiety. These peptides are enzymatically responsive hydrogelators, and they can be used to form pericellular hydrogels/nanofibrils upon exposure to target cells that secrete or express a surface bound ectoenzyme having hydrolase activity suitable to induce peptide gelation. These materials, and compositions containing the same, can be used for in vitro and in vivo cellular imaging, treating cancerous conditions, collecting a secretome from a cell upon which the pericellular hydrogels/nanofibrils form, and screening the collected secretome.

Brandeis University | Date: 2015-04-09

The invention relates to an enzymatically responsive product that includes an amino acid residue conjugated to a magnetic particle, wherein the amino acid residue is phosphorylated or sulfated or comprises an ester-moiety linked via peptide bond. Compositions containing the enzymatically responsive product, and the use thereof for separating distinct types of mammalian cells (e.g., cancer cells from normal cells), for treating a cancerous condition, and imaging cancer cells are also disclosed.

Turrigiano G.,Brandeis University
Annual Review of Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Maintaining the proper balance between excitation and inhibition is critical for the normal function of cortical circuits. This balance is thought to be maintained by an array of homeostatic mechanisms that regulate neuronal and circuit excitability, including mechanisms that target excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and mechanisms that target intrinsic neuronal excitability. In this review, I discuss where and when these mechanisms are used in complex microcircuits, what is currently known about the signaling pathways that underlie them, and how these different ways of achieving network stability cooperate and/or compete. An important challenge for the field of homeostatic plasticity is to assemble our understanding of these individual mechanisms into a coherent view of how microcircuit stability is maintained during experience-dependent circuit refinement. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Lisman J.,Brandeis University
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2012

What causes the positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia? The importance of circuits is underscored by the finding that no single gene contributes strongly to the disease. Thus, some circuit abnormality to which many proteins can contribute is the likely cause. There are several major hypotheses regarding the circuitry involved: first, a change in the balance of excitation/inhibition in the prefrontal cortex (PFC); second, abnormal EEG oscillations in the gamma range; third, an increase in theta/delta EEG power related to changes in the thalamus (particularly midline nuclei); fourth, hyperactivity in the hippocampus and consequent dopamine hyperfunction; and fifth, deficits in corollary discharge. Evidence for these hypotheses will be reviewed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Marder E.,Brandeis University
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2011

I summarize recent computational and experimental work that addresses the inherent variability in the synaptic and intrinsic conductances in normal healthy brains and shows that multiple solutions (sets of parameters) can produce similar circuit performance. I then discuss a number of issues raised by this observation, such as which parameter variations arise from compensatory mechanisms and which reflect insensitivity to those particular parameters. I ask whether networks with different sets of underlying parameters can nonetheless respond reliably to neuromodulation and other global perturbations. At the computational level, I describe a paradigm shift in which it is becoming increasingly common to develop families of models that reflect the variance in the biological data that the models are intended to illuminate rather than single, highly tuned models. On the experimental side, I discuss the inherent limitations of overreliance on mean data and suggest that it is important to look for compensations and correlations among as many system parameters as possible, and between each system parameter and circuit performance. This second paradigm shift will require moving away from measurements of each system component in isolation but should reveal important previously undescribed principles in the organization of complex systems such as brains.

Lisman J.E.,Brandeis University | Jensen O.,Radboud University Nijmegen
Neuron | Year: 2013

Theta and gamma frequency oscillations occur in the same brain regions and interact with each other, a process called cross-frequency coupling. Here, we review evidence for the following hypothesis: that the dual oscillations form a code for representing multiple items in an ordered way. This form of coding has been most clearly demonstrated in the hippocampus, where different spatial information is represented in different gamma subcycles of a theta cycle. Other experiments have tested the functional importance of oscillations and their coupling. These involve correlation of oscillatory properties with memory states, correlation with memory performance, and effects of disrupting oscillations on memory. Recent work suggests that this coding scheme coordinates communication between brain regions and is involved in sensory as well as memory processes

Griffith L.C.,Brandeis University
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2013

The transition between wake and sleep states is characterized by rapid and generalized changes in both sensory and motor processing. Sleep is antagonistic to the expression of important behaviors, like feeding, reproduction and learning whose relative importance to an individual will depend on its circumstances at that moment. An understanding of how the decision to sleep is affected by these other drives and how this process is coordinated across the entire brain remains elusive. Neuromodulation is an important regulatory feature of many behavioral circuits and the reconfiguring of these circuits by modulators can have both long-term and short-term consequences. Drosophila melanogaster has become an important model system for understanding the molecular and genetic bases of behaviors and in recent years neuromodulatory systems have been shown to play a major role in regulation of sleep and other behaviors in this organism. The fly, with its increasingly well-defined behavioral circuitry and powerful genetic tools, is a system poised to provide new insight into the complex issue of how neuromodulation can coordinate situation-specific behavioral needs with the brain's arousal state. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Turrigiano G.,Brandeis University
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2012

Neural circuits must maintain stable function in the face of many plastic challenges, including changes in synapse number and strength, during learning and development. Recentwork has shown that these destabilizing influences are counterbalanced by homeostatic plasticity mechanisms that act to stabilize neuronal and circuit activity. One such mechanism is synaptic scaling, which allows neurons to detect changes in their own firing rates through a set of calcium-dependent sensors that then regulate receptor trafficking to increase or decrease the accumulation of glutamate receptors at synaptic sites. Additional homeostatic mechanisms may allow local changes in synaptic activation to generate local synaptic adaptations, and network-wide changes in activity to generate network-wide adjustments in the balance between excitation and inhibition. The signaling pathways underlying these various forms of homeostatic plasticity are currently under intense scrutiny, and although dozens of molecular pathways have now been implicated in homeostatic plasticity, a clear picture of how homeostatic feedback is structured at the molecular level has not yet emerged. On a functional level, neuronal networks likely use this complex set of regulatory mechanisms to achieve homeostasis over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. © 2011 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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