Queensland Brain Institute

St Lucia, Australia

Queensland Brain Institute

St Lucia, Australia
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Subramanian H.H.,Queensland Brain Institute | Arun M.,Queensland Brain Institute | Arun M.,University of Queensland | Silburn P.A.,Queensland Brain Institute | Holstege G.,Queensland Brain Institute
Journal of Comparative Neurology | Year: 2016

Neurochemical microstimulation in different parts of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) in the cat generates four different types of vocalization, mews, howls, cries, and hisses. Mews signify positive vocal expression, whereas howls, hisses, and cries signify negative vocal communications. Mews were generated in the lateral column of the intermediate PAG and howls and hisses in the ventrolateral column of the intermediate PAG. Cries were generated in two regions, the lateral column of the rostral PAG and the ventrolateral column of the caudal PAG. To define the specific motor patterns belonging to mews, howls, and cries, the following muscles were recorded during these vocalizations: larynx (cricothyroid, thyroarytenoid, and posterior cricoarytenoid), tongue (genioglossus), jaw (digastric), and respiration (diaphragm, internal intercostal, external abdominal oblique, and internal abdominal oblique) muscles. Furthermore, the frequency, intensity, activation cascades, and turns and amplitude analyses of the electromyograms (EMGs) during these vocalizations were analyzed. The results show that each type of vocalization consists of a specific, circumscribed motor coordination. The nucleus retroambiguus (NRA) in the caudal medulla serves as the final premotor interneuronal output system for vocalization. NRA neurochemical microstimulation also generated vocalizations (guttural sounds). Analysis of the EMGs demonstrated that these vocalizations consist of only small parts of the emotional voalizations generated by neurochemical stimulation in the PAG. These results demonstrate that motor organization of positive and negative emotional vocal expressions are segregated in the PAG and that the PAG uses the NRA as a tool to gain access to the motoneurons generating vocalization. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Wozny C.,University of Cambridge | Williams S.R.,University of Cambridge | Williams S.R.,Queensland Brain Institute
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2011

Understanding the structure and function of the neocortical microcircuit requires a description of the synaptic connectivity between identified neuronal populations. Here, we investigate the electrophysiological properties of layer 1 (L1) neurons of the rat somatosensory neocortex (postnatal day 24-36) and their synaptic connectivity with supragranular pyramidal neurons. The active and passive properties of visually identified L1 neurons (n = 266) suggested division into 4 groups according to the Petilla classification scheme with characteristics of neurogliaform cells (NGFCs) (n = 72), classical-accommodating (n = 137), fast-spiking (n = 23), and burst-spiking neurons (n = 34). Anatomical reconstructions of L1 neurons supported the existence of 4 major neuronal groups. Multiparameter unsupervised cluster analysis confirmed the existence of 4 groups, revealing a high degree of similarity with the Petilla scheme. Simultaneous recordings between synaptically connected L1 neurons and L2/3 pyramidal neurons (n = 384) demonstrated neuronal class specificity in both excitatory and inhibitory connectivity and the properties of synaptic potentials. Notably, all groups of L1 neurons received monosynaptic excitatory input from L2/3 pyramidal neurons (n = 33), with the exception of NGFCs (n = 68 pairs tested). In contrast, NGFCs strongly inhibited L2/3 pyramidal neurons (n = 12 out 27 pairs tested). These data reveal a high specificity of excitatory and inhibitory connections in the superficial layers of the neocortex. © 2011 The Authors.

News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

The University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute First to Deploy Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel Technology in Australia for Storage Networking BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Dec 8, 2016) - Brocade ( : BRCD) today announced that The University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute will become the first organization in Australia to migrate to Brocade® Gen 6 Fibre Channel storage networking solutions. Brocade G620 switches will be deployed to provide the speed and performance the Queensland Brain Institute needs to eliminate data bottlenecks and accelerate research into preventing brain diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer's, motor neuron disease, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Established in 2003, the Queensland Brain Institute is one of the world's largest dedicated facilities focused on understanding how the brain works and finding ways to prevent diseases. While it has been remarkably successful in making major neuroscientific discoveries -- with an Alzheimer's breakthrough among the world's most discussed medical research last year -- the difficulty accessing, storing, and managing increasingly large data sets from brain imaging and microscopy devices is a constant consideration. Continuous improvement is vitally important to ensure scientific research staff have a "zero friction" experience in their workflows. "Whole-brain imaging is critical to our research, but as advances in imaging and microscopy instruments continue to increase the resolutions and sampling rates of the data they generate, our storage infrastructure has new and unpredictable demands put upon it every day," said Jake Carroll, senior information technology manager (research), Queensland Brain Institute. "Brocade's Gen 6 Fibre Channel switches will provide a massive boost in our data transfer speeds to enable our scientists to get their job done seamlessly and efficiently." The Brocade G620 is a high-density storage networking switch that delivers breakthrough performance and scalability designed to support data growth and demanding workloads from mission-critical applications. The Queensland Brain Institute will deploy Brocade G620 switches to form a fully redundant, low-latency storage network fabric with 32 Gigabit per second (Gbps) links -- which can be combined into a 128 Gbps framed-based trunk -- capable of dealing with the most demanding data flows. These switches will operate alongside the Brocade 6510 Gen 5 Fibre Channel switches the Queensland Brain Institute is already using to handle its less demanding storage network requirements. "We have to conduct increasingly complex experiments with rapidly growing data sets to make research breakthroughs, with researchers employing the latest imaging techniques and technologies, as well as running analysis against an increasing number of data points," added Carroll. "With data already growing at several petabytes per year without any pattern, it's very difficult to predict data growth going forward in a dynamic research computing environment. This puts a premium on storage network scalability -- a requirement that Brocade's Gen 6 Fibre Channel technology is more than capable of meeting." The Brocade G620-based Fibre Channel fabric is part of an integrated storage solution alongside high-performance storage arrays from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and a high-end file server and preservation platform from Oracle (Hierarchical Storage Manager) to control the flow of data between storage layers. This next-generation storage infrastructure is designed to future-proof the institute by eliminating performance barriers and helping to deliver data processing on demand. This approach will enable scientists to have seamless access to the data they need to carry out the Queensland Brain Institute's important research. It also provides appropriate governance and preservation layers in an increasingly complex sector, in regard to reproducibility and immutability. "Gen 6 Fibre Channel delivers a huge leap in performance for organizations with demanding Big Data environments like the Queensland Brain Institute, particularly in the face of its rapidly evolving brain imaging technology and increasing data needs," said Jason Baden, senior director ANZ, Brocade. "Organizations can now confidently address performance, reliability, and scalability requirements for hyperscale virtualization, new data center architectures, and next-generation storage technologies." About Brocade Brocade ( : BRCD) networking solutions help the world's leading organizations turn their networks into platforms for business innovation. With solutions spanning public and private data centers to the network edge, Brocade is leading the industry in its transition to the New IP network infrastructures required for today's era of digital business. (http://www.brocade.com/) These products and features and their availability are subject to change at the sole discretion of Brocade, and Brocade shall have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features described herein. Brocade, the B-wing symbol, and MyBrocade are registered trademarks of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., in the United States and in other countries. Other brands, product names, or service names mentioned of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. are listed at http://www.brocade.com/en/legal/brocade-Legal-intellectual-property/brocade-legal-trademarks.html. Other brands, product names, service names or marks mentioned may belong to third parties.

News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

United Cannabis established the Advisory Board to help the Company advance and protect the development of its proprietary formulations, including managing the clinical trial process, patent protection, new product research and development, as well as identifying and pursuing potential strategic relationships. Dr. Reynolds co-founded and was VP-Research of the world's first neural stem cell company, NeuroSpheres, Ltd., where he developed a patent portfolio and protocols related to the application of neural stem cells to treating disorders of the central nervous system. Dr. Reynolds has held multiple academic and industry posts including Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; an Honorary Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute, Australia; and Program Director for StepAhead, Australia. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida, College of Medicine where his lab focuses on the application of natural products for treating diseases and dysfunction of the nervous system. Dr. Reynolds received his PhD from the University of Calgary where he co-discovered the existence of stem cells in the adult mammalian brain. Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Reynolds stated, "Although cannabis has been used as medicine for centuries, its interaction with and effects on the endocannabinoid system are just beginning to be understood by the scientific community. Unique to United Cannabis is their robust scientific approach to developing cannabinoid medicines. I am pleased to be a part of their effort to discover and develop therapies for the treatment of a number of conditions and diseases." Tony Verzura, Chief Technology Officer of United Cannabis, added, "Dr. Reynolds was a mentor for us during the creation of our Advance Cannabinoid Therapy Program (A.C.T. Now), and our patent-pending phyto-therapeutic approach to creating our entire medicinal line of products. Dr. Reynolds has numerous peer-reviewed publications, issued patents, tremendous credibility, and global experience within the scientific community." The Company's Prana Bio Medicinal products provide patients a way to mix/match cannabinoids for therapeutic purpose. These products, licensed to regulated marijuana dispensaries, are broken into 5 categories that are available in capsules, sublingual's, and topical delivery methods. The Company uses a patent-pending infusion process utilizing select fatty acids, lipids, and specific combination of cannabis derived terpenes to increase bioavailability. For further information, please visit www.unitedcannabis.us. Certain statements in this news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Rule 175 under the Securities Act of 1933, are subject to Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are subject to the safe harbors, created by those rules. All statements, other than statements of fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential future plans and objectives of the company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and other results and further events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Future events and actual results could differ materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying the forward-looking statements.

Brion M.-J.A.,The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | Brion M.-J.A.,University of Bristol | Brion M.-J.A.,Queensland Brain Institute | Shakhbazov K.,Queensland Brain Institute | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

In Mendelian randomization (MR) studies, where genetic variants are used as proxy measures for an exposure trait of interest, obtaining adequate statistical power is frequently a concern due to the small amount of variation in a phenotypic trait that is typically explained by genetic variants. A range of power estimates based on simulations and specific parameters for two-stage least squares (2SLS) MR analyses based on continuous variables has previously been published. However there are presently no specific equations or software tools one can implement for calculating power of a given MR study. Using asymptotic theory, we show that in the case of continuous variables and a single instrument, for example a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or multiple SNP predictor, statistical power for a fixed sample size is a function of two parameters: the proportion of variation in the exposure variable explained by the genetic predictor and the true causal association etween the exposure and outcome variable. We demonstrate that power for 2SLS MR can be derived using the non-centrality parameter (NCP) of the statistical test that is employed to test whether the 2SLS regression coefficient is zero. We show that the previously published power estimates from simulations can be represented theoretically using this NCP-based approach, with similar estimates observed when the simulation-based estimates are compared with our NCP-based approach. General equations for calculating statistical power for 2SLS MR using the NCP are provided in this note, and we implement the calculations in a web-based application. © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.

Hall W.,Queensland Brain Institute | Hall W.,University of Queensland | Gartner C.,University of Queensland
Current Opinion in Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Purpose of Review: To describe the rationale of vaccines against cocaine and nicotine, to review progress in developing and trialing vaccines to treat dependence on these drugs and to discuss some of the ethical issues that may arise from their use in legally coerced addiction treatment or for prevention of addiction in adolescents. Recent Findings: Several randomized controlled trials of cocaine and nicotine vaccines for relapse prevention have produced mixed results. The studies demonstrate that it is possible to raise antibodies to cocaine and nicotine in humans. In abstinent patients who show high levels of drug antibodies, the rewarding effects of these drugs are attenuated. Phase 2 trials have not found nicotine vaccines to be superior to placebo because only a third of those vaccinated develop sufficient levels of antibody to block the effects of nicotine. Summary: Vaccines are a novel approach to relapse prevention that need to more reliably induce immunity in a larger proportion of vaccinated patients if they are to protect against relapse after achieving abstinence. Vaccines are unlikely to prevent addiction in adolescents. Their use under legal coercion should only be considered after considerable experience with their use in voluntary patients. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: phys.org

UQ School of Biomedical Sciences' Associate Professor Jenny Ovenden and Professor Mike Bennett hope the project will provide a better understanding of shark population sizes and potential changes in their distributions, information that is likely to help with the species' conservation and management. Associate Professor Ovenden said scientists would analyse DNA extracts from shark jaws held in museum and trophy collections around the world, and tissue samples from living and recently deceased animals. "Satellite tagging provides information about a few individuals for a short period of time, however genetics provides information about all individuals in a population over much longer timeframes," Associate Professor Ovenden said. "Using DNA, we can get a more complete picture of shark populations. "For instance, how many white and tiger sharks are there off the Australian coast now, compared to their numbers 100 years ago?" Professor Bennett said the study would provide valuable insights into the different biology of both species. "The two species have different distributions worldwide, different modes of reproduction and have experienced different levels of interaction and impact with humans," he said. "We expect to find signatures of adaptive evolution which have come about as a result of global change and exploitation." The researchers will liaise with game fishing clubs and private and public museums to extract DNA from shark jaws, which will then be sent to UQ's Queensland Brain Institute for nuclear genome sequencing. "We will be tracking down some long-time, dedicated recreational fishers who are very good at keeping records of where and when sharks were caught – their information will be invaluable," said Professor Bennett.

News Article | September 21, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Researchers at The University of Queensland have established that reef fish see colors that humans cannot. A team from Justin Marshall's Sensory Neurobiology Lab at the Queensland Brain Institute ran a series of behavioral experiments with trigger fish, in a bid to decode how they see the world. Marshall said previous studies had looked into how goldfish saw color, but this was the first study into how reef fish discriminate colors. "Coral reefs are the most colorful environments in the world, and it's now become clear that reef fish see colors we can't," Marshall said. "Some reef fish, such as the anemonefish 'Nemo' and other damselfish can see the UV wavelengths we protect ourselves from. "Triggerfish, on the other hand, see more or less the same color range we do but their color discriminations are different. "Thinking about it, this is no big surprise. Their color tasks are blue-biased, as they live in a blue ocean. "Ironically, as the colors of the reef change and disappear because of climate change, we are just beginning to understand how reef inhabitants see and experience their vibrant world," he said. Marshall said Connor Champ led a series of detailed behavioral tests, where trigger fish were rewarded for discriminating against progressively similar colors. It emerged that trigger fish see colors in some color regions in more detail than humans. "Many people ask me 'Why study fish?' and my first answer is: "Because I love them," Marshall said. "But this sort of comparative look at animal systems is vitally important to understand not just the beauty of nature and how to look after it, but to consider the possible applications in the human world." Comparative color vision research at QBI is helping in cancer detection, satellite design and data storage on computers. The research, published in Royal Society Open Science, was funded by the Australian Research Council.

News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

Researchers at The University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute have found a link between vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and increased autism traits. The study, led by QBI researcher Professor John McGrath and involving Dr Henning Tiemeier from the Erasmus Medical Centre in The Netherlands, found that pregnant women with low vitamin D levels at 20 weeks' gestation were more likely to have a child with autistic traits by the age of six. "This study provides further evidence that low vitamin D is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders," Professor McGrath said. "Just as taking folate in pregnancy has reduced the incidence of spina bifida, the result of this study suggests that prenatal vitamin D supplements may reduce the incidence of autism." While it is widely known that vitamin D is vital for maintaining healthy bones, there is now a solid body of evidence linking it to brain growth. vitamin D usually comes from exposure to the sun, but it can also be found in some foods and supplements. The study examined approximately 4200 blood samples from pregnant women and their children, who were closely monitored as part of the long-term "Generation R" study in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. "This research could have important implications from a public health perspective," Professor McGrath said. "We would not recommend more sun exposure, because of the increased risk of skin cancer in countries like Australia. "Instead, it's feasible that a safe, inexpensive, and publicly accessible vitamin D supplement in at-risk groups may reduce the prevalence of this risk factor." Autism – or autism spectrum disorder - is used to describe lifelong developmental disabilities including an inability to communicate with others, interact socially, or fully comprehend the world. The findings were published in Molecular Psychiatry.

News Article | November 24, 2015
Site: phys.org

PhD student Genevieve Phillips at The University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute said the reef was one of the planet's most visually diverse environments in terms of light availability and the colours and patterns on the animals living there. "We studied the visual systems of the labrids, a large family of fish that includes wrasses – which are mainly predatory – and parrotfish – which tend to eat coral and algae," she said. "Many animals have visual systems that are tuned to the specific wavelengths of light that availablein their environment, so fish that live in rivers 'see' differently from fish living at the bottom of the ocean." Ms Phillips said the team, which includes scientists from The University of Maryland, studied the different types of opsins in fishes' eyes. "Opsins are light-sensitive proteins in the photoreceptors that absorb light at specific wavelengths," she said. This absorption was the first step in the process of "seeing" an image. Researchers could learn which colours an animal could potentially see by studying the different classes and quantities of opsins in its eyes. "Many labrids live in the same environment with similar light availability, so you could expect that their visual systems would be fairly similar," Ms Phillips said. "But we found that the repertoire of opsins they express is actually very different. "In general, most of the opsins found in the fishes' eyes were sensitive to the green-blue region of the spectrum, which is typical of many reef fish, as it is the dominant light available to fish on coral reefs. "However, some of the labrids appeared to have specialised in opsins sensitive to orange-red light." Ms Phillips said this could help these fish find prey against a predominantly red-brown background. "The more we understand about what fish can see, and how this relates to their behaviour, the more we will understand about biodiversity on the Great Barrier Reef," she said. The study is published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Explore further: Capturing an octopus-eye view of the Great Barrier Reef More information: Genevieve A.C. Phillips et al. Multiple Genetic Mechanisms Contribute to Visual Sensitivity Variation in the Labridae, Molecular Biology and Evolution (2015). DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msv213

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