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New Tools for Neurobiology

New Content ItemGuest Editors: Michael Stryker, Mu-ming Poo, Joshua Sanes, Leslie Vosshall

New tools are transforming Neurobiology, both in the way experiments are being done and the questions they are addressing. 
For this series we have invited reviews, Q&As and commentaries on new methods of observation and analysis that are enhancing our understanding of the complex workings of the brain. 
We will consider methodology manuscripts that report a new method or technique of broad interest, or a significant improvement on an existing method that will accelerate discovery. Research manuscripts that bring fresh insights through the use of recently developed methods will also be considered.


Please use the online submission system, and indicate in your covering letter that you would like the manuscript to be considered for the “New Tools in Neurobiology” series. If you would like to inquire about the suitability of a manuscript for consideration, please email a pre-submission inquiry to BMCBiologyEditorial@biomedcentral.com 

Image adapted from Q&A by Ed Boyden and colleagues in this series; originally published by Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Biotechnology, copyright 2016, and adapted with permission

  1. Content type: Research article

    Neural activity in the vertebrate habenula is affected by ambient illumination. The nucleus that links photoreceptor activity with the habenula is not well characterized. Here, we describe the location, inputs...

    Authors: Ruey-Kuang Cheng, Seetha Krishnan, Qian Lin, Caroline Kibat and Suresh Jesuthasan

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:104

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  2. Content type: Methodology article

    Optical silencing of activity provides a way to test the necessity of neurons in behaviour. Two light-gated anion channels, GtACR1 and GtACR2, have recently been shown to potently inhibit activity in cultured ...

    Authors: Gadisti Aisha Mohamed, Ruey-Kuang Cheng, Joses Ho, Seetha Krishnan, Farhan Mohammad, Adam Claridge-Chang and Suresh Jesuthasan

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:103

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  3. Content type: Review

    Imaging as a means of scientific data storage has evolved rapidly over the past century from hand drawings, to photography, to digital images. Only recently can sufficiently large datasets be acquired, stored,...

    Authors: Josh L. Morgan and Jeff W. Lichtman

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:101

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  4. Content type: Question and Answer

    Mammalian organs comprise a variety of cells that interact with each other and have distinct biological roles. Access to evaluate and perturb intact biological systems at the cellular and molecular levels is e...

    Authors: Alon Greenbaum, Min J. Jang, Collin Challis and Viviana Gradinaru

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:87

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  5. Content type: Question and Answer

    Neurons relevant to a particular behavior are often widely dispersed across the brain. To record activity in groups of individual neurons that might be distributed across large distances, neuroscientists and o...

    Authors: Nicholas James Sofroniew

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:82

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  6. Content type: Question and Answer

    Individual neurons vary widely in terms of their gene expression, morphology, and electrophysiological properties. While many techniques exist to study single-cell variability along one or two of these dimensi...

    Authors: Cathryn R. Cadwell, Rickard Sandberg, Xiaolong Jiang and Andreas S. Tolias

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:58

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  7. Content type: Question and Answer

    Expansion microscopy (ExM) is a recently invented technology that uses swellable charged polymers, synthesized densely and with appropriate topology throughout a preserved biological specimen, to physically ma...

    Authors: Ruixuan Gao, Shoh M. Asano and Edward S. Boyden

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:50

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  8. Content type: Methodology article

    Recent developments in droplet-based microfluidics allow the transcriptional profiling of thousands of individual cells in a quantitative, highly parallel and cost-effective way. A critical, often limiting ste...

    Authors: Jonathan Alles, Nikos Karaiskos, Samantha D. Praktiknjo, Stefanie Grosswendt, Philipp Wahle, Pierre-Louis Ruffault, Salah Ayoub, Luisa Schreyer, Anastasiya Boltengagen, Carmen Birchmeier, Robert Zinzen, Christine Kocks and Nikolaus Rajewsky

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:44

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  9. Content type: Commentary

    Improvements in imaging technology and the development of powerful machine learning algorithms are revolutionizing the study of animal behavior in the laboratory. These innovations promise to reveal both globa...

    Authors: Winthrop F. Gillis and Sandeep R. Datta

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:42

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  10. Content type: Methodology article

    Animals exhibit astonishingly complex behaviors. Studying the subtle features of these behaviors requires quantitative, high-throughput, and accurate systems that can cope with the often rich perplexing data.

    Authors: Eyal Itskovits, Amir Levine, Ehud Cohen and Alon Zaslaver

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:29

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