Entomologists discover first instance of intact neurons without nucleus in fairy wasps

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Flight Artists film smallest insect in flight More information: Arthropod Structure & Development, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 29-34. doi:10.1016/j.asd.2011.09.001 A cell’s nucleus is of course, usually pretty important, it’s where the DNA is generally stored after all. It’s also usually the part of the cell that runs things, like causing a replenishment of proteins to keep cells alive, etc. This of course got the researchers to wondering how an insect could survive if most of its neurons had no nucleus.The secret, the team writes, lies in the fact that the insect is so small, that neurons (with nuclei intact) that develop during the pupa stage apparently make enough protein to last the full five days of its adulthood, so, not needing them any longer, all but a few hundred of the nuclei are destroyed by bursting, making the cell smaller and saving room for other more important cells. The team notes that this is the first recorded instance of neurons existing in the wild without benefit of nuclei.The team also found that the fairy wasp has one of the smallest nervous systems around, with just 7,400 neurons, but can still fly, search for food and figure out where to lay it’s eggs; which is inside the eggs of another tiny insect, the thrips, which itself is no bigger than a millimeter in length. It manages this feat by cramming virtually all of its nervous system into just its head, hence the need for downsizing the number of neurons and reducing cell size wherever possible.The fairy wasp also has other adaptations that allow it to survive in its small state. It has a reduced wing surface for example which means wings that amount to little more than bare strands as opposed to the rather broad based flappers other larger insects sport, just enough to allow it to coast along with moving air. Citation: Entomologists discover first instance of intact neurons without nucleus – in fairy wasps (2011, December 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-entomologists-instance-intact-neurons-nucleus.htmlcenter_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further Fairy wasps are really tiny; so tiny, they can barely be seen with the naked eye. They’re so tiny that they’re the smallest organism when shown on a slide alongside an amoeba and a Paramecium. And because of this, a group of researchers from Moscow State University began wondering how a neurological system in such a tiny insect could work at all. As it turns out, as they describe in their paper published in Science Direct, the fairy wasp (M.mymaripenne), the third smallest of all insects, has a lot of neurons without any nucleus.last_img read more


Light field microscopy for whole brain activity maps

first_img One of the early pioneers of LFM was Marc Levoy, who many folks may have heard of due to his groundbreaking work at Google. His many projects include co-designing their book scanner, launching Street View, and contributions Google glass. Together with his collaborators, Marc also refined the techniques that led to the imaging system used in the popular Lytro camera, which like LFM can be refocussed after-the-fact to different parts of an image. To create the LFM they placed a microlens array beyond the specimen at the intermediate image plane of a conventional microscope. Different points on the sample are then recorded in separate small images on a light field plane further above the sample. Deconvolution techniques can then used to build up whole images.While the LFM has been used before for in-vitro imaging, Ed’s new work represents the first time that spatial resolutions comparable to the groundbreaking zebrafish brain activity maps (courtesy of Misha Ahrens) have been presented. I asked Ed how his new work in imaging the entire c. elegans worm compares with the light sheet methods used by Ahrens and company. He stressed that eliminating the physical component, (the actual scan) is the key to the superb temporal resolution now possible, and that the deconvolution algorithms yield the improved spatial resolution. While the zebrafish results were acquired in a volume 800x600x200 microns per side, with an impressive lateral resolution of 0.65 um, the refresh rate was a relatively slow 1.3 seconds. With Boyden’s LFM, the imaging volume used was slightly smaller (~350 μm x 350 μm x 30 μm) although that is fine here because basically, the entire nervous system of the worm, in fact most of its body, could fit in that volume. The resolution was a respectable ~1.4μm in the lateral dimension and 2.6μm in the axial, still good enough for single neuron precision. The impressive thing here though is the whole volume image rate—up to 50 hz. That is fast enough to shift the temporal resolution problem away from the hardware, and put it back in the laps of the chemists that make the dyes or protein sensors used for imaging. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Light field microscopy for whole brain activity maps (2014, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-field-microscopy-brain.html Journal information: arXiv At the end of the day these mapping techniques are really only as useful as the questions one can ask, and answer, using them. Last year’s fascinating images of a zebrafish watching its lunch swim by as a cerebral doppelganger of fish activity percolated eerily through its own brain was proof enough of this. Ed and his group were already able to image the complete set of head ganglia neurons in the worm at the same time selected ventral cord control units were imaged, not a bad start. Not having any real experience myself, as far as how these techniques are actually implemented into the experimental workflow, I asked neurophysiologist David Schoppik to comment here. In his words:”This work from the Vaziri and Boyden laboratories is both important and exciting, and is a nice complement to ongoing work in the Levoy lab (Broxton et. al., 2013). While a light-field microscope can acquire data breathtakingly quickly, processing times of 20-90 minutes/frame (i.e. weeks of processing to analyze a couple minutes of acquired data) limits its applicability. As hardware and algorithms mature, this is sure to improve. Perhaps most excitingly, as the next generation of genetically-encoded voltage sensors comes online, light-field microscopy unique holds the promise of acquisition of large volumes with the speed necessary to capture membrane potential dynamics.”To David’s point, we are already beginning to see some of these next generation voltage sensors take shape. Intriguing work on multi-state “Flash Memory” sensors that can be toggled on and off by different wavelengths of light have just been published. Some of the fancier techniques, like direct genetic encoding, enable the sensor to be targeted to just a small number of specific cells. This is crucial so that the total number of signal producers in the field of view is not so large that everything is bright. At the same time however, as we have learned using techniques like Brainbow II, if you only have labelled synapses, you don’t have the whole picture. Glia, blood vessels, and organelles are all critical pieces of the puzzle.However now, we are beginning to understand that much of the larger activity of the nervous system, particularly at the periphery, is not something we can readily comprehend in isolation from the immediate tissue in which it embeds. Something as simple as tactile sensing in the worm, whether by raw nerve ending or whatever version of a vibratory corpuscular sensor a worm might possess, are really larger chemo-mechanical issues that extend beyond nerve membranes. Imaging the entire body of the worm, down to the level of movements of cell organelles should give a fuller picture of integrated activity beyond transient calcium or voltage spikes.If functions like adaptation and memory, as many now believe, involve structurally observable change—actual motions by and within cells—then perhaps these slower dynamics will come to be appreciated on par with the faster spikes associated more with direct signalling. The previously unimagined abilities of cells (including neurons) to target and exchange mitochondria, for example, might be imaged in worms and correlated directly to spiking activity. It may be a slight digression from microscopy techniques, but if we consider an extreme case of organelle transport, we might have some guidance for what to look for in new experiments. The 10-meter long motor axons of the blue whale, for example, need to provide fresh organelles that offer proteins and power to the end effectors where they are needed. However doing this on any kind of timescale relevant to spikes or synaptic modifications is not just difficult, it is impossible. Slow phase axonal transport would take decades to reach their muscle target points, while even the fast component pool (perhaps several mm/day) would still take months. Furthermore, consider here that during the growth phase, the whale axons tethered to the fluke region are being pulled aft at the astounding rate of 3cm per DAY. That imposes a huge “volume debt” that must be satisfied by some source of cellular materials.The point of this diversion is that if in larger creatures, neurons are materially isolated from their targets on the timescales of electrical activity, than local tissue interactions, like sharing mitochondria and other packages of genetic information, most be significant. For now, the humble worm, together with these new LFM methods offers an ideal platform to further probe these kinds of activities from the molecular to tissue level. As they give way to in vivo imaging of larger brains, nerves, and bodies, we should have a clearer picture of what we might count as “activity” in the full functional map of a calculating organism. Capturing brain activity with sculpted light © 2014 Phys.org More information: Simultaneous whole-animal 3D-imaging of neuronal activity using light field microscopy, arXiv:1401.5333 [physics.optics] arxiv.org/abs/1401.5333Abstract3D functional imaging of neuronal activity in entire organisms at single cell level and physiologically relevant time scales faces major obstacles due to trade-offs between the size of the imaged volumes, and spatial and temporal resolution. Here, using light-field microscopy in combination with 3D deconvolution, we demonstrate intrinsically simultaneous volumetric functional imaging of neuronal population activity at single neuron resolution for an entire organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The simplicity of our technique and possibility of the integration into epi-fluoresence microscopes makes it an attractive tool for high-speed volumetric calcium imaging. (Phys.org) —Advances in light-sheet microscopy have led to impressive images and videos of the brain in action. With this technique, a plane of light is scanned through the sample to excite fluorescent calcium sensors which proxy neural activity. While the transparent head of a baby zebrafish, or even the whole body of a tiny worm can now be mapped with impressive lateral resolution, the temporal resolution is still limited by the need for the scanning. A potentially much more powerful technique—light field microscopy (LFM)—gets rid of the moving parts and can therefore create volumetric images in a fraction of the time. Ed Boyden and his collaborators have now tuned these methods to create the first “functional LFM images” of the brain. Their results have just been published to the Arxiv preprint server. C. elegans. Credit: home.physics.ucla.edulast_img read more


CERN upgrade to require removing thousands of old unused cables

first_img Citation: CERN upgrade to require removing thousands of old unused cables (2016, January 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-cern-require-thousands-unused-cables.html The ATLAS detector. Credit: Maximilien Brice/CERN Anyone who has ever looked into a cable closet knows that after some time has passed, it comes to resemble a rat’s nest. The ones’ at CERN have been growing since approximately 1954 when CERN was first established. Since that time, workers have been adding new cable with each upgrade to provide for new services. Unfortunately, they were not removing old cables as they became obsolete. That has led to a situation where there is no more room for putting in the new cables required for the LHC Injectors Upgrade Project scheduled for 2019.Complicating the removal process is the difficulty in ascertaining which cables need to be removed (most of them are part of safety and control systems)—some of which wind their way through other equipment and systems areas and stretch to over half a football field in length. Pulling the wrong cable could be disastrous, because it could cause the collider to shut down, wasting valuable up-time. To handle the task, a team of 60 workers has been assembled and trained—their immediate task is to identify which cables to pull—they are comparing entries in a database of all installed cables with what they actually see in the field, and then updating the database to reflect the new reality—the team has thus far found an error rate of approximately 2 percent. The cables cannot be pulled, of course, during the time when the accelerator is in operation—that will have to wait for the annual winter maintenance shutdown (technical stop).The team reports that in some areas, some cables have already been removed, approximately 2,700 of them, but they have also identified approximately 3,000 cables in each injector which still need to come out, adding up to 9,000 in all. Because of the sheer number of cables, the team will not be able to remove them all during one technical stop, they will have work on them every year until they get the job done, which they estimate will be in 2020—just in time for the major 2019 upgrade to take place. Explore further (Phys.org)—As if upgrading one of the most complicated pieces of machinery in the world three years from now is not difficult enough, workers on the CERN project are also going to have to remove, according to Motherboard, approximately 9,000 old, unused cables.center_img © 2016 Phys.org Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


Historys angels in the Capital

first_imgFamous for his strong expressionist visual language, Vikash Kalra has already conducted five solo exhibitions in Delhi and elsewhere. The present solo show, Angels of History is presented by Siddharth Tagore of Art Konsult, New Delhi and is curated by noted art critic and curator, JohnyML.Vikash Kalra, a young artist whose works have already become an integral part of most of the eminent art collections in India and abroad, is known as a ‘contemporary Souza’. Inspired by the works of Pablo Picasso and Souza, this self taught artist worked his ways through the dense forest of Indian art scene and established a space of his own. With a decade long career to claim for himself, Vikash has an interesting life which is worth following. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Born in Delhi and educated in Delhi University, Vikash had donned many hats during his growing up years. A book on Picasso found amongst the second hand books took Vikash to a new realm of experience. As if touched by a spiritual vision, he did 2000 drawings in a week’s time on magazine pages. It was a life changing experience. Vikash left everything behind to become an artist and the decision proved to be right as his talent was recognized by galleries and art collectors. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Looking at the paintings of Vikash Kalra, which is prolific in output as he works like a possessed man day in and day out, one could say for sure that it is neither market nor critique on his works that sets his creative spirit ringing. There is something that is beyond all the materialistic considerations that makes this artist to work through conducive and difficult times. Perhaps, in Kalra’s own words, there is no time which is difficult for an artist,’ writes JohnyML, the curator of the show. An ardent collector of music and musical instruments, Vikash spends most of his time in his studios, painting, sculpting and making music of his liking. A documentary on his life has been produced by noted art critic, Vinod Bharadwaj. Vikash creative life so far has been the life of a wandering minstrel; the one who wanders through the streets of art. Angels of History places him along with the major contemporary artists in India.DETAILAt: Visual art Gallery, India Habitat Centre On Till: 19 April (11 am – 8 pm), Show will continue from 20 April to 4 May at Art Konsult, Lado SaraiTHE URBAN REALITY CHECKUrban life all around comes with a lot of pros and cons. Social satire has been around since people have been around. Cities have everything in king size, both the beauty and the ugliness. City life is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it. In Urban Realities both of the artists presents a glimpse of the trepidations, congruence and the conflicts of  urban life  in different forms through different mediums. Forchino chooses to create figures and scenes that give a comical twist to mundane characters. They are typically humorous subjects such as a family leaving on vacation in an overloaded car with flat tires etc. While Hemant Puri uses exploits of urban life and the contrast of traversing from semi urban to urban life in which space which is basic to every object plays a vital role.DETAILAt: Gallery Art Positive , Lado Sarai On Till: 10 April – 10 May (11am – 7 pm)FOR SOME TRANQUILITYThe group art show Tranquility at Shree Yash Art Gallery, New Delhi encompasses various eminent artists and brings them together by captivating a vast range of moods and moments in their respective walks of life. Participating artists include Madan Lal, Nand Lal Thakur, S.D.Shrotriya, R.C Bhawsar, Prithvi Soni, Harish Kumar, Manjit Soni and Savita Agrawal. The show is putting on display the  picturesque landscapes of Shrotriya, the true to life depictions ofBhawsar, the well known Prithvi Soni’s vibrant coloured Rajasthani folk classics, Nand Thakur’s myriad abstract forms, Harish Kumar whose art work valuation is steeping up due to sheer indian content. Viewers have by now been well acquainted with hues of contemporary works of Madan Lal. Lastly, the traditional art works of Savita Agrawal, Director and curator, Shree Yash Art Gallery.  The show is aptly titled Tranquility as it allows the artists to freely express their art forms with such dexterity and proficiency that the outcome has to be nothing but tranquil.DETAILAt: Shree Yash Art Gallery, Green Park Main On Till: 15 – 30 April (11 am – 7 pm)last_img read more


19 killed in South Yemen clashes

first_imgAt least 19 people have been killed in Saudi-led coalition air strikes and clashes between pro-government forces and rebels in Yemen’s south, military sources said.The air strikes took place late Friday and targeted two rebel vehicles on a road linking the central province of Ibb province to Daleh province further south, the sources said. Forces loyal to Gulf-backed Prez Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi recaptured Daleh and four other southern provinces in July.last_img


Peace will be restored at Amdanga assures Abhishek

first_imgKolkata: Abhishek Banerjee, All India Trinamool Youth Congress president and party MP, on Thursday urged the people to work together to restore peace at Amdanga.Addressing a party rally at Amdanga on Thursday afternoon, Banerjee said he would ensure that peace is restored in the area. “I will personally look after Amdanga and I assure you that peace will be restored here,” he said.Coming down heavily on CPI(M), Banerjee alleged that the party was unnecessarily trying to create trouble in the area, just to stall the development work taken up by Mamata Banerjee. “CPI(M) has joined hands with Congress and BJP to destabilise the area. But we cannot allow that to happen. Rest assured, peace will be restored soon,” he said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe said in 2016, CPI(M) had formed an alliance with Congress and the result was disastrous. “The party has been washed away. But they have not learned anything from the past and are now trying to create trouble with the help of Congress and BJP,” Banerjee said. He said that during the Maheshtala by-election, central forces were there and CPI(M) had alliance with Congress, but despite that Trinamool Congress candidate Dulal Das had won by 65,000 votes. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe said Trinamool Congress does not believe in bloodshed. “We believe in peace and development. In the past seven years, the development that has taken place is Bengal is remarkable. We will not allow anyone to stall that development,” he said.Banerjee said CPI(M) had unleashed a reign of terror in Bengal for 34 years, during which thousands of Trinamool supporters had been killed. “If Trinamool had the intention of taking revenge, we could have taken law into our own hands after winning on may 20, 2011. But Mamata Banerjee asked us not to take revenge and we followed her instructions. We believe in democracy and peace,” Banerjee said.last_img read more


Know who is most likely to help you at office

first_imgShedding new light on how status affects workplace relationships, a new study has found that workers are most likely to help colleagues who are moderately distant from themselves in status — both above and below them.“The sweet spot for helping seems to be those who are moderately distant from you in status,” said study co-author Robert Lount, associate professor of management and human resources at The Ohio State University in the US.The study did not examine why colleagues who were moderately distant in status were most likely to help each other. But it may be related to how workers perceive their own status within the company, lead researcher Sarah Doyle from The Ohio State University noted.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Someone near you in status poses more of a threat” Doyle said. Those who are far above or below you in status could require a lot more time and effort to help, which could hurt your own job performance.Those colleagues who are moderately distant do not pose much of a threat and offer the best opportunity for workers to demonstrate their willingness to cooperate with their teammates. The findings appeared online in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries. The researchers conducted two separate studies — one in a real workplace  and both reached similar conclusions. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn the first study, 267 undergraduate students read a work scenario in which they imagined they were part of a 15-person work group in a large sales organisation.Participants were told that one of their group members was close to securing a large account, but was running short on time. The participants were asked if they would be willing to provide help, knowing that helping was optional. Results showed that participants were most likely to say they would help a team member who was moderately different from them in status.The real-world study was conducted in a large customer call centre. For the study, 170 employees completed an online survey asking a variety of questions.  Included was a question asking each employee to list co-workers who regularly came to them for help and co-workers whom they regularly went to seek help.In this real-world office, the finding of the first study was confirmed. Workers were most helpful to teammates who were just the right distance away as far as status goes —not too close and not too far. The findings might be useful when assigning people to train new employees.last_img read more


Chronicle of Durga Puja released to give readers a peek into its

first_imgKolkata: Durgadalil, a book comprising a through documentation of Durga Puja, was released in the city on Sunday.The book, edited by Samrat Chattopadhyay, will be made into a documentary film with the demand of making Durga Puja a national festival. The work for the documentary film will start on January 6, 2019, with a programme at Uttam Mancha.Through this monumental work, the demand to make Durga Puja a national festival will be raised. It may be mentioned that National Geographic channel will cover Durga Puja in Kolkata for the first time. The channel covers Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharastra and Kumbh Mela. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe book is a research work on 400 years of Durga Puja. It deals with the frequently asked questions like where Durga Puja started in undivided Bengal, or whether it began in Taherpur in Rajsahi (now in Bangladesh), in Malda or South Dinajpur.It also answers whether Raja Kangsha Narayan, Bhabananda Mazumdar or Raja Jagat Narayan was the protagonist of the Puja. History scholars Haripada Bhowmick and Professor Sandip Kumar Dawn have dealt with the subject, spreading over a large span of time from the Moghul period to the present day. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNoted photographer Atanu Pal and well known art collector Ganesh Pratap Singh have provided photographs which have increased the value of the priceless collection.Elderly people as well as many contemporary celebrities have narrated Durga Puja stories that are related to their localities, in the book. In erstwhile Kolkata, Pujas were held in the houses of aristocrats, beside the community Pujas. There were no sponsors and the Pujas were organised by collecting subscription from the local people. After the Pujas, musical soirees were held, in which noted vocalists and musicians took part.While Nabanita Dev Sen has narrated stories that are related to the areas surrounding Hindusthan Road in South Kolkata where she had spent her childhood and has plenty of childhood memories, elocutionist Jagannath Basu has told about his experiences in North Kolkata.Well known football organiser of the 70s, Ajay Srimani, has spoken about Durga Puja in his house and neighbouhood.Actors Abir Chattopadhyay and Kaninika Bandyopadhyay have narrated their childhood memories, along with cricketer Jhulan Goswami and former footballer Achintya Belel.last_img read more


CCD robbery in Salt Lake Three arrested including exemployee

first_imgKolkata: Three youths have been arrested by Bidhannagar North Police Station for committing robbery at a cafe Coffee Day (CCD) outlet in Salt Lake. According to police, one of the accused was an employee of the same outlet. As his one-and-a-half month salary was due, he planned the robbery to get his due money.During investigation, the sleuths had found CCTV footages where three suspected persons were seen. When the CCD employees were shown the footage, they identified one Sankar Das, who was an employee there a few months ago. Later, police obtained Das’ mobile number and started the tracking process. As his mobile phone was switched off, the sleuths could not track his tower location. On Saturday night, Das’ tower location popped up on the screen as soon he switched on his mobile phone. The location of his phone was in Gaighata. Without wasting time, a team comprising members from the Detective Department (DD) and Bidhannagar North Police Station went to Dhakuria in Gaighata and detained Das. Later, Das told police his two friends identified as Biltu Sarkar and Surajit Roy had helped him to commit the crime. The other two youths were also detained from Gaighata area. During interrogation, they admitted to their crime and were arrested on Sunday morning. According to the sources, Das admitted to have come on foot and waited for the shop to open. As Das was an employee, he knew that only one person would be there in the first few hours. As per the plan as soon as the shop opened, Das sent Sarkar and Roy inside to overpower Suvankar Ghosh, the employee who opened the café on that day. Das entered the shop after Ghosh was tied up and looted the cash present. All of them fled on foot. The sleuths have recovered the bags, wearing appeals and mobile phones of the trio. On October 29 morning around 10:30 am, the CCD outlet at AD block was robbed. The trio approximately took Rs 18,000 from the cash box and fled.last_img read more


Bengal lawyers end monthlong cease work

first_imgKolkata: The ongoing cease work of the lawyers in the state for over a month was lifted on Friday, with the state Bar Council appealing to the lawyers to postpone their movement and commence their work. Normal work will resume from Saturday. “We have decided to postpone the strike till September 2, keeping in mind the harassment of the people. All steps have been taken and a resolution that was taken at the Council’s meeting today (Friday) has also been put up in the form of a notification. The lawyers are joining work from Saturday,” said Baiswanor Chatterjee, member of the working committee of the Bar Council. A notification urging the lawyers to join work has also been published. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe common people seeking justice had to face a lot of problems because of the cease work and people coming to Calcutta High Court and the lower courts from far-flung districts seeking justice have been returning home disappointed. There were indications earlier that the cease work will be withdrawn soon after the election process. A major clash took place between the lawyers and staff of Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) over vehicle parking at Howrah Court area on April 24. Some lawyers were injured in the clash after the police intervened, following which the lawyers called for cease work alleging police excess. The lawyers in the other courts also extended solidarity to the movement and it spread to all courts across the state. “We are still sticking to our demand that those responsible for the attack on the lawyers should be punished. However, the strike has been postponed considering the problems faced by the common people,” a member of West Bengal Bar Association said.last_img read more