Symposium Summary

12 03 2009

Unfortunately a hard disk crash prevented detailed note taking at the conference.

Briefly :

Amy Palmer demonstrated a microfluidics device for multiple condition fluorescent assays in single mammalian cells. This will be useful to screen next generation calcium indicators.

Rob Campbell showed off multiplexed FRET imaging in live cells, using new FRET pairs generated in his lab.

Brian Bacskai has been observing how alzheimer’s disease affects astrocyte calcium dynamics in vivo, with bulk loaded dyes. Using Cameleons, he demonstrates the range of intracellular calcium in neuritis in healthy and diseased brain. Alzheimer’s placques cause about 20% of neuritis to have extremely elevated basal calcium levels, with a more pronounced effect closer to the plaque.

I showed some data comparing G-CaMP2, TN-XXL and D3cpv to an improved G-CaMP being developed in the Looger Lab.

Using an improved biotin ligase approach, Alice Ting presented evidence that neurexin/neuroligin is a synaptic stabilizer rather than synapse initiating protein.

Rex Kerr gave a talk on recent progress in planar illumination. In this manner, one can perform calcium imaging (using GECIs) in many neurons in a worm at the same time.

Jin Zhang has a new FRET reporter for JNK Kinase activity. It’s called JNKAR. Get it?

Michael Lin showed new results with bright, monomeric red-shifted fluorescent proteins. They look better then anything else on the market. More importantly, he has improved his TimeSTAMP technology by adding intrinsically fluorescent proteins to it. Bi-molecular fluorescence complementation tags newly synthesized protein be selectively tagged without immunostaining. This should make the in vivo imaging more robust.

Finally, Xiaokun Shu reported a new fluorecent protein that is excited and emits in the near infrared. This will be very powerful for imaging in deep tissues, as the spectra is in the transparency window out beyond the hemoglobin absorbance. Since its coming out in Science soon, I’ll hold off on a complete description of how it works. New scaffold, requires cofactor that is found in mammals.


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