An interdisciplinary team of researchers, including MBF Bioscience’s Dr. Susan Tappan and Maci Heal, have created a fully reconstructed, virtual 3D heart, digitally showcasing the heart’s unique network of neurons for the first time. The investigators in this study–appearing May 26 in the journal iScience–created a comprehensive map of the intrinsic cardiac nervous system at a cellular scale using MBF Bioscience’s Tissue Mapper and TissueMaker software. This map also allows for gene expression data to be superimposed within it, which can help determine the functional role that specific neuron clusters play. The researchers say this map will allow neurologists and cardiologists alike to more precisely study the neuroanatomy of the heart and lays the groundwork for developing virtual maps for other major organs.
Neuroscientists can now analyze the size and complexity of neurons and collect unbiased stereology data with greater speed and efficiency
We are happy to announce the release of Neurolucida and Stereo Investigator version 2017. This version features a completely revamped user interface that’s intuitive and easy to navigate.
“Neurolucida and Stereo Investigator version 2017 are completely redesigned to improve the user experience and increase productivity,” said Jack Glaser, President of MBF Bioscience. “The new interface makes collecting accurate data much quicker and easier.”
Version 2017 has many new performance features in addition to the new user interface. It handles large image data more efficiently, gives users the ability to dynamically edit digital reconstructions in an interactive 3D environment, and much more. Neurolucida users will also see many improvements to Neurolucida Explorer – the companion software to Neurolucida that performs all the quantitative analyses generated from neurons that are digitally reconstructed with Neurolucida.
Highlights of Stereo Investigator and Neurolucida version 2017 include:
- Easier Navigation – The ribbon bar design is task-oriented to make it easy to find what you need. A dynamic search bar and a quick access toolbar also aid productivity.
- Improved Organization – Frequently used tools are prominent and easy to access. Tools are grouped by their function, and advanced settings are easily accessible.
- Cleaner and simpler – The new user interface is modern and intuitive, making it easier to learn and to train new lab members.
- Support for the latest technological advancements in microscopic imaging devices and computer hardware.
See version 2017 in action
MBF Bioscience will exhibit and demo Neurolucida and Stereo Investigator version 2017 at the annual Experimental Biology meeting April 23 – 25 in Chicago, Illinois.
Get a quick overview of the new user interface in these 2-minute videos:
Register for the upcoming webinar “Using the Optical Fractionator Probe to Estimate Number of Cells”
MBF Bioscience is sponsoring a new image contest that encourages scientists and artists to share their views of the brain
Williston, VT— The NeuroArt image contest brings together scientists, artists, and neuroscience enthusiasts from around the world to share their view of the brain. Any image of the brain is accepted, including but not limited to microscope images, pencil drawings, and paintings.
Eligible contestants can visit neuroart.com/image-contest to submit images. Entries will be submitted through the NeuroArt website where people can vote on images. You can also vote for your favorite entry even if you don’t submit an image.
“The NeuroArt image contest is a way to recognize and foster an appreciation for the artistic aspect of neuroscience,” said Jack Glaser, President of MBF Bioscience. “The diverse entries make for an interesting collection of images celebrating the beauty of the brain.”
There is a new contest each month with two winners per month. Judging consists of two rounds of evaluation. Round one is peer-reviewed: the five images with the highest number of votes proceed to round two. In round two, a judging panel consisting of neuroscientists and artists choose the two winners. First place wins $250 towards the purchase of MBF Bioscience products and second place wins $100 towards the purchase of MBF Bioscience products. The judging panel will choose the annual grand prize winners from the monthly winners. The three Grand prize winners receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 towards the purchase of MBF Bioscience products, respectively.
The optical fractionator probe was used to quantify the number of neurons and glia in the dentate gyrus
Doctors have used lithium to treat patients with bipolar disorder since the 1970s. Known for its efficacy in stabilizing patients’ moods by regulating manic episodes, lithium is also associated with a decreased risk of suicide. But while this naturally occurring element is the most widely prescribed medication for those suffering from bipolar disorder, scientists still have much to learn about how lithium physically affects the brain.
A recent study published in the journal Bipolar Disorders adds to the growing body of evidence that says lithium contributes to cell proliferation in parts of the brain. Conducted by scientists at the University of Mississippi and the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the study revealed an increased number of neurons and glia, and increased astrocyte density in the dentate gyrus of lithium-treated mice versus controls treated with a placebo.
Using the optical fractionator probe in Stereo Investigator, the researchers quantified the number of Nissl stained neurons and glial cells, and calculated astrocyte density. The results showed twenty-five percent more neurons and twenty-one percent more glia in the denate gyrus of lithium-treated mice. They also performed a stereological examination of another brain region – the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), but did not witness significant differences between lithium-treated and control mice in this area.
“In this study, particular cortical regions, ie. the fascia dentata in the hippocampus and the mPFC in the cerebral cortex needed to be selected in histological sections of the mice brains,” explained Dr. Harry B.M. Uylings, “therefore the stereological counting procedure applied was the best one. Stereo Investigator greatly assisted in the counting of cells, and the software’s excel data-output was especially beneficial.”
According to the paper, the findings present a more detailed picture of lithium-induced alterations in the dentate gyrus cellular phenotype than previously available, and provide the first evidence for lithium-induced increases in glia and astrocytes.
The authors also explain that while cell number increased in the dentate gyrus of lithium-treated mice, the region’s overall volume as well as that of the greater hippocampus was unaffected by the element. The volume of the dentate gyrus and the hippocampus as a whole was measured with the Cavalieri method in Stereo Investigator. The researchers describe the dissociation between cell proliferation and volume as “an interesting observation that warrants further investigation.”
Rajkowska, G., Clarke, G., Mahajan, G., Licht, C.M., van de Werd, H.J., Yuan, P., Stockmeier, C.A., Maji, H.K., Uylings, H.B., Differential effect of lithium on cell number in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in adult mice: a stereological study. Bipolar Disord. 2016 Feb;18(1):41-51. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12364.
The 3 algorithms in Neurolucida 360 were used in combination
to create a smooth, accurate reconstruction
Minor releases typically don’t include new features, but Neurolucida 360 isn’t an ordinary piece of software. Neurolucida 360 v2.7 has many new features and improvements including:
- A new automatic tracing algorithm – Rayburst Crawl
- Capture videos of your rotating neuron reconstructions for presentations and publications
- New backbone length analysis for dendritic spines
- Improved handling of images exceeding 10GB
With the addition of Rayburst Crawl, Neurolucida 360 now has 3 different algorithms for automatic neuron reconstruction. Why 3 algorithms? To give you the power to choose the one that works best with your images. Labeling specificity, staining intensity, and image signal-to-noise can vary widely within a specimen – making it impossible for a single tracing algorithm to work optimally in all situations.
If you want more control over your neuron reconstructions, the same 3 algorithms can be used in user-guided mode. You follow a dendritic branch or axon with your mouse cursor and the algorithm finds the center and thickness of the process. It combines the unrivaled human ability to identify and segment objects with the speed of a computer.
Try it for yourself.
Or, if you are a customer with an up to date support subscription, download version 2.7
MBF Bioscience announced today that it will open a European Sales and Support office in Delft, the Netherlands. Masha Stern, who has been the Manager of Technical Support and Training at MBF Bioscience headquarters in Vermont for 11 years, will become the Managing Director of MBF Europe. The new office is scheduled to open September 2016.
“Our new European Office is a result of the continually increasing demand for our products in Europe,” says Jack Glaser, President of MBF Bioscience. “Our new office in the Netherlands will allow us to better serve our growing customer base in Europe. Masha Stern’s long-term experience in managing and supporting our products will provide our European customers with a source of significant expertise and dedicated support and sales information for our products.”
“I’m very excited to lead our European operations and to represent our award-winning technology in Europe,” said Masha.
Delft is home to the prestigious Delft University of Technology and is the birthplace of Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek, the “Father of Microbiology” and developer of high-quality, high magnification microscope lenses.
Contact Masha at MBF Bioscience Europe: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MBF Bioscience
MBF Bioscience helps life science researchers collect accurate, reliable data from tissue specimens. Founded in 1987 by the current president, Jack Glaser, and his father, Edmund Glaser, MBF Bioscience systems are used in over 1,000 labs worldwide and have been cited in more than 10,000 research papers. MBF Bioscience received a Tibbetts award from the U.S. Small Business Association in recognition of their contributions to technological innovation and service to federal research and development.
If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, she risks giving birth to a baby with physical and cognitive deficits – characteristics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. In a new study, researchers say that when the mother is low in iron, the consequences are even worse.
The scientists examined two groups of pregnant rats – one group was fed an iron sufficient diet while the other was fed a diet with insufficient iron levels. The offspring from both groups were exposed to alcohol from 4 to 9 days after birth – a time when their brains are going through a growth spurt and are particularly sensitive to alcohol. They were compared to offspring who received an iron-sufficient diet but were not exposed to alcohol. This growth spurt correlates to a growth spurt in humans that occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy.
The researchers used delay and trace eye blink classical conditioning methods to assess the offspring’s learning and memory. Learning impairments were reported in both alcohol-exposed groups regardless of their iron status, but more extreme impairments were seen in iron deficient rats compared to iron sufficient rats. After the behavioral tests were completed, the researchers studied the cerebellum and hippocampus – brain regions involved in learning and memory – at a cellular level.
Over the course of a football game or a boxing match, athletes may experience a series of mild concussions. Some of these athletes develop a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the build-up of abnormal tau protein that eventually leads to dementia. But not every athlete develops CTE after repetitive mild traumatic brain injury, and scientists think genetic factors are involved.
In a recent study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that the density of abnormal tau protein increased exponentially in mice that had a genetic mutation thought to cause neurodegenerative diseases. Their findings contrast with previous studies of mice without genetic mutation, where abnormal tau protein build-up did not occur. This evidence leads the scientists to infer that genetic factors play a role in the onset of CTE.
Benskey, M., Sandoval, I. M., & Manfredsson, F. P. (2016). Continuous Collection of AAV from Producer Cell Media Significantly Increases Total Viral Yield. Human Gene Therapy Methods. doi: 10.1089/hgtb.2015.117.
Chan, E. C., Van Wijngaarden, P., Chan, E., Ngo, D., Wang, J.-h., Peshavariya, H. M., . . . Liu, G.-S. (2016). NADPH oxidase 2 plays a role in experimental corneal neovascularisation. [10.1042/CS20150103]. Clinical Science.
Coimbra, J. P., Kaswera-Kyamakya, C., Gilissen, E., Manger, P. R., & Collin, S. P. (2016). The Topographic Organization of Retinal Ganglion Cell Density and Spatial Resolving Power in an Unusual Arboreal and Slow-Moving Strepsirhine Primate, the Potto (Perodicticus potto). Brain, Behavior and Evolution.
Filice, F., Vörckel, K. J., Sungur, A. Ö., Wöhr, M., & Schwaller, B. (2016). Reduction in parvalbumin expression not loss of the parvalbumin-expressing GABA interneuron subpopulation in genetic parvalbumin and shank mouse models of autism. Molecular Brain, 9(1), 1-17. doi: 10.1186/s13041-016-0192-8.
Hall, J. M., & Savage, L. M. (2016). Exercise leads to the re-emergence of the cholinergic/nestin neuronal phenotype within the medial septum/diagonal band and subsequent rescue of both hippocampal ACh efflux and spatial behavior. Experimental Neurology. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.01.018.
Hassouna, I., Ott, C., Wustefeld, L., Offen, N., Neher, R. A., Mitkovski, M., . . . Ehrenreich, H. (2016). Revisiting adult neurogenesis and the role of erythropoietin for neuronal and oligodendroglial differentiation in the hippocampus. Molecular Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.212.http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mp.2015.212
Ayranci, F., Gungormus, M., Omezli, M. M., & Gundogdu, B. (2015). The Effect of Alendronate on Various Graft Materials Used in Maxillary Sinus Augmentation: A Rabbit Study. Iran Red Crescent Med J, 17(12), e33569. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.33569.
Cheng, T., Wang, W., Li, Q., Han, X., Xing, J., Qi, C., . . . Wang, J. (2015). Cerebroprotection of Flavanol (-)-Epicatechin after Traumatic Brain Injury via Nrf2-dependent and –independent Pathways. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2015.12.027.
Cobb, J. A., O’Neill, K., Milner, J., Mahajan, G. J., Lawrence, T. J., May, W. L., . . . Stockmeier, C. A. (2015). Density of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes is decreased in left hippocampi in major depressive disorder. Neuroscience. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.12.044.
Das, S. K., Baitharu, I., Barhwal, K., Hota, S. K., & Singh, S. B. (2016). Early mood behavioral changes following exposure to monotonous environment during isolation stress is associated with altered hippocampal synaptic plasticity in male rats. Neuroscience Letters, 612, 231-237. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2015.12.038.
Fan, Z., Lu, M., Qiao, C., Zhou, Y., Ding, J.-H., & Hu, G. (2015). MicroRNA-7 Enhances Subventricular Zone Neurogenesis by Inhibiting NLRP3/Caspase-1 Axis in Adult Neural Stem Cells. Molecular Neurobiology, 1-13. doi: 10.1007/s12035-015-9620-5.
Kanigel Winner, K., Steinkamp, M. P., Lee, R. J., Swat, M., Muller, C. Y., Moses, M. E., . . . Wilson, B. S. (2015). Spatial modeling of drug delivery routes for treatment of disseminated ovarian cancer. Cancer Research. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.can-15-1620.
Liu, M.-L., Zang, T., & Zhang, C.-L. (2016). Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients. Cell Reports. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.018.