Using a new approach to measure chemical contaminants in polar bears, scientists from Canada and the United States found a large variety of new chlorinated and fluorinated substances, including many new polychlorinated biphenyl metabolites. Worryingly, these previously unrecognized contamin ... more
Next generation of neuroscience tools
UAlberta chemistry professor Robert Campbell is developing new ways to see and manipulate the activity of neurons in the brain, which could revolutionize the way we understand the organ that controls most of the activities of the body.
"We want to help other researchers apply these new neuroscience tools to disorders ranging from chronic pain to brain injuries," said Campbell.
Looking inside the head
Campbell and his research group are developing tools to understand the inner workings of the brain in model organisms such as zebrafish, fruit flies, and mice.
"Right now, we have good methods for visualizing the electrical activity in the brain, but not for seeing neurotransmitters," said Campbell. Using natural fluorescent proteins, such as those in jellyfish and coral, neuroscientists will have new ways of seeing when and to what degree certain neurons are active.
As for manipulating brain activity, including the potential to implant memories, Campbell will be using a protein of his own creation.
"Using our photocleavable protein, we aim to make the connections between neurons either stronger or weaker using light, ultimately implanting certain associations, connections, and possibly even memories within the brain," he explained.
An invaluable toolkit
The tools are highly anticipated by Campbell's colleagues, including neuroscientists, researchers, and collaborators, from across the country. Their labs range in focus from developing models of depression and autism to understanding stroke and everything in between.
"These are the people who are putting the tools to use in health and health care research," explained Campbell. "Our lab is just creating new and better tools to allow them to do their job."
Campbell will receive $1M over the next seven years through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation Grant to develop the tools.
- fluorescent proteins
- chronic pain
- University of Alberta
For the first time ever, scientists have captured images of terahertz electron dynamics of a semiconductor surface on the atomic scale. The successful experiment indicates a bright future for the new and quickly growing sub-field called terahertz scanning tunneling microscopy (THz-STM), pio ... more
An interdisciplinary team of engineering and pharmaceutical researchers at the University of Alberta has invented a device that can rapidly identify harmful bacteria and can determine whether it is resistant to antibiotics. The device could save precious hours in patient care and public hea ... more
- 1New Indication of a Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes
- 2Click... Resistant bacteria caught in the act!
- 3Nanosafety research without animal experiments
- 4The relationship of proteins
- 5DKSH extends partnership with Bruker in China
- 6Detecting antibodies with glowing proteins, thread and a smartphone
- 7High-end Microscopy Refined
- 8Developing new techniques to improve atomic force microscopy
- 9RNA structures by the thousands
- 10Could the blood of COVID-19 patients be used to predict disease progression?