This animation depicts the CRISPR-Cas9 method for genome editing – a powerful new technology with many applications in biomedical research, including the potential to treat human genetic disease. Feng Zhang, a leader in the development of this technology, is a faculty member at MIT, an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a core member of the Broad Institute. Further information can be found on Prof. Zhang’s website at http://zlab.mit.edu . Images and footage courtesy of Sputnik Animation, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Justin Knight and pond5.
This animation depicts how Cas13 -- a CRISPR-associated protein -- may be adapted to detect human disease. This new diagnostic tool, called SHERLOCK, targets RNA (rather than DNA), and has the potential to transform research and global public health. Produced by: McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT In collaboration with: Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. With special thanks to :Feng Zhang (McGovern Institute, Broad Institute), Omar Abuddayeh (McGovern Institute), Jonathan Gootenberg (McGovern Institute), Ian Slaymaker (Broad Institute) and Sabbi Lall (McGovern Institute). Animation by: Sputnik Animation Narration by: Julie Pryor (McGovern Institute) Addition footage by: Scott Sassone (Broad Institute) and Sabeti Lab (Broad Institute, Harvard University)
MIT researchers led by Ed Boyden have invented a new way to visualize the nanoscale structure of the brain and other tissues. Unlike traditional microscopy, which involves magnifying the image, the new method works by physically enlarging the specimen itself, in some cases more than five times in each dimension. [Based on a study published in the 15 January 2015 online issue of Science. With thanks to the researchers: Ed Boyden, Fei Chen and Paul Tillberg. Footage courtesy of the Boyden Lab @ MIT, Nick Moore, and Julie Pryor]
It has been recognized for decades that the brain produces rhythmic patterns of electrical activity, colloquially known as ‘brain waves’. These rhythmic patterns reflect the activity of thousands or millions of neurons, each with its own intrinsic rhythmic tendencies. If each neuron is firing independently of its neighbors, the overall effect will appear as noise, but when they become synchronized, their combined effect can be detected as rhythmic oscillations, which in some cases are strong enough to penetrate the skull, allowing them to be recorded noninvasively with electrodes on the scalp. In this video, McGovern Institute director Bob Desimone illustrates a mechanical analogy for how this synchronization occurs; the ticking metronomes influence each other through the side-to-side movements of the board on which they sit, and over time this causes them to lock into a synchronous pattern.
In the first study to compare patterns of brain activity in adults who recovered from childhood ADHD and those who did not, McGovern Institute neuroscientists have discovered key differences in a brain communication network that is active when the brain is at wakeful rest and not focused on a particular task. The findings offer evidence of a biological basis for adult ADHD and should help to validate the criteria used to diagnose the disorder, according to the researchers. - See more at: http://mcgovern.mit.edu/news/news/inside-the-adult-adhd-brain
Scientists have long wondered if the human brain contains neural mechanisms specific to music perception. Now, for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex that responds selectively to sounds that people typically categorize as music, but not to speech or other environmental sounds.
This animation illustrates optogenetics — a technology for controlling brain activity with light. Ed Boyden, the co-inventor of this technology, is a professor at the MIT Media Lab and at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, where he continues to develop new technologies for controlling brain activity.
Neurons in the human brain receive electrical signals from thousands of other cells, and long neural extensions called dendrites play a critical role in incorporating all of that information so the cells can respond appropriately. Using hard-to-obtain samples of human brain tissue, McGovern neuroscientist Mark Harnett has now discovered that human dendrites have different electrical properties from those of other species. Their studies reveal that electrical signals weaken more as they flow along human dendrites, resulting in a higher degree of electrical compartmentalization, meaning that small sections of dendrites can behave independently from the rest of the neuron. These differences may contribute to the enhanced computing power of the human brain, the researchers say.
The Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research explores the genetic, biological and brain bases of autism. It was established at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research in 2017 by Lisa Yang and Hock Tan ’75 SM’75 to catalyze revolutionary new research approaches and potential treatments for individuals affected by this disorder. This video reveals some of the autism research currently funded by the Tan-Yang Center.
It's the question breaking the internet. So we asked two neuroscientists at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT to settle the score.
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