They’ve named the system OSaCaBeN or OSB. (Figure 1).Researchers from Osaka University and Tohoku University have developed a novel robot microscope system that automatically tracks a freely moving small animal and manipulates its brain activity with “projection mapping.”
By using the robot-scope in their analysis of the nematode C. elegans – a roundworm widely used in the study of fundamental brain functions – the researchers revealed the functional diversification of nerve cells that release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that regulates movement, emotion and motivation in the brain of animals.
To understand how a brain works, it is necessary to measure activities of nerve cells in the brain and make a hypothesis of how the activity of a specific nerve cell is related to the function of the brain.
The hypothesis is then tested by artificially manipulating the activity of the nerve cell and observing its effect on the animal’s behavior, the most prominent output of brain function.
Because of recent advances in genetic engineering techniques, activities of specific nerve cells can be optically measured and manipulated under a microscope. However, it is still challenging to understand the relationship between an animal’s behavior and the activity of a specific nerve cell because of the complexity of an animal’s brain.
The C. elegans is often used by neuroscientists because its very small brain consists of just 302 nerve cells. Still, it responds to various stimuli (and sometimes memorize them!) by using molecules that are very similar to the ones in other animals including humans. Moreover, because of the C. elegans’ transparent body, nerve cell activities can be easily measured and manipulated by the above-mentioned optical techniques.
But analyzing the neural activities of moving worms is not easy. The worms move ~0.1mm per second, which is extremely difficult to follow because they pass through the field of vision of a microscope within a second. Prof. Koichi Hashimoto’s research group solved the problem by developing a robot-scope that automatically tracks a worm on a stage with a state-of-the-art software technology called “machine-vision.”
The robot-scope identifies a part of a worm’s head (the white square in Figure 2 bottom left) from the entire image, and adjusts the position of the microscope stage to always keep the head at the center of the field of vision with a precision of ±0.001 mm.
|Figure 2. Dopamine-releasing nerve cells in worms and their activation.|
(Top) A lateral view of 4 pairs of dopamine-releasing neurons in a worm. Note that an animal’s left-right axis is vertical and its dorsal-ventral axis is horizontal when it moves on a surface of agar pad.
(Bottom) Left: A bright field image of a worm just entered in a bacterial lawn. Right: The activities of dopamine-releasing neurons. CEPD is most activated (red). (Adapted from Tanimoto et al., Scientific Reports)
“Although such a process of image identification usually takes several hours, the robot scope does it 200 times per second,” says Hashimoto. “This allows us to optically measure the continuous activities of multiple nerve cells in a worm’s brain as it is moving.”
Moreover, in a slightly different arrangement, the system also identifies and tracks one specific nerve cell (out of many) in a moving worm by another machine vision software, and manipulates its activity with the continuous illumination of a fine light beam. This is the only robot microscope system that performs both the optical measurement and manipulation of nerve cells with that level of precision.
With the robot-scope, Prof. Kotaro Kimura’s group revealed functional diversification of dopamine-releasing nerve cells. In worms, dopamine has been known to be released from 4 pairs of nerve cells when they reach the food (a lawn of bacteria). Dopamine also modulates the movement of multiple parts of their body, signal sensations and learning.
However, how the food signal – the most important information for worms to survive – is transformed into activities of the dopamine-releasing nerve cells is not yet understood.
The researchers revealed that only the dorsal pair of dopamine-releasing neurons (CEPD) is substantially activated when food is reached. (Figure 2). Moreover, artificial activation of CEPD caused behavioral changes similar to that observed when the food is reached.
However, a structurally similar dorsal pair of dopamine-releasing nerve cells (CEPV) was not activated when it reached the food, and artificial activation of CEPV did not cause the behavioral changes similar to the activation of CEPD. It is likely that CEPV is activated in a different situation and plays a different role in behavioral modulation. Thus, the researchers revealed that even structurally symmetric dopamine-releasing neurons have asymmetric functions.
“We will analyze more of the relationships between brain and behavior using the robot microscope system on worms as well as zebrafish,” says Kimura. “We would like to understand the basic principles of brain function through the analyses of these simple animals.”
The Latest on: Robot microscope system
via Google News
The Latest on: Robot microscope system
- Deep-learning-based image segmentation integrated with optical microscopy for automatically searching for two-dimensional materialson March 23, 2020 at 3:16 am
The recent advances in deep-learning technologies based on neural networks have led to the emergence of high-performance algorithms for interpreting images, such as object detection 1,2,3,4,5, ...
- A drone ducks, dips and dives to dodge obstacles in a flashon March 20, 2020 at 7:01 am
Drones fitted with a type of motion-detecting camera can dodge obstacles ten times faster than current drones equipped with conventional cameras. Self-flying drones have commercial potential for ...
- Stereo Microscope Teardownon March 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Stereo microscopes use one of two optical designs — the Common Main Objective (CMO) optical system and the Greenough optical system. [MicroscopeWorld] has a nice blog post explaining these two ...
- All the companies from Y Combinator’s W20 Demo Day, Part III: Hardware, Robots, AI and Developer Toolson March 17, 2020 at 12:49 pm
The company has begun piloting the technology in locations around the U.S. Find our previous coverage of RoboTire here. Morphle: Designed to replace outdated analog microscopes, Morphle’s system uses ...
- What a Brain Surgeon's Virtual Reality Tool and Pokemon Go Have in Commonon March 14, 2020 at 9:21 am
Dr. Joshua Bederson, chairman of neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Health System, spent his Tuesday morning ... than we have done in the past," he told ABC News before the surgery.
- Cyber-scammers are using the coronavirus to trick victims and steal their moneyon March 12, 2020 at 10:14 am
Electron microscope image of the new coronavirus ... But once they do, the malware is installed on their system and let loose to wreak havoc. Malware analyst Anton Ivanov said: ‘The coronavirus ...
- Optical Microscope Market Current Scenario and Future Growth Analysis by 2025 | Danish Micro Engineering, Olympus Corporation, Nikon Corporationon March 8, 2020 at 10:33 pm
The global optical microscope market is expected to display a positive growth outlook in the coming years. New production methodologies have led to easier manufacture and assembly of optical ...
- Prior Scientific microscope stages for prolonged live cell studieson March 6, 2020 at 4:00 pm
and robotic loaders. Travel range is 114 × 75 mm, and it uses patented Intelligent Scanning Technology (IST). Prior Scientific Introduces the H117IX3 ProScan Stages for Olympus IX3 Microscopes ...
- Global Surgical Operating Microscopes Market 2020 Competitive Insights, Trends and Demand Growth to 2027on March 4, 2020 at 5:12 am
Surgical operating microscope is an important factor ... a subsidiary of Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung launched KINEVO 900 a robotic Visualization System at Annual Scientific Meeting of the American ...
- Neurological Microscopes Market To Reach USD 5.81 Billion By 2027 | Reports and Dataon March 2, 2020 at 9:04 am
Light microscopy for neuroscience was the first from of microscopy and the optical microscopy was the first invented microscopic system for neurology. Optical neurological microscopes a built-in ...
via Bing News