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Jan 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 1)

miRNAs & Psychiatric Disorders

  • Zooming In on the Brain for a Greater Understanding of Neurology

    • Nikon launched the Eclipse Ni-E motorized microscope system with CFI Plan Apochromat Lambda objectives and Nano Crystal Coat technology at the recent “Neuroscience” meeting. The Eclipse Ni-E features automatic adjustment with objective changeover.Also new from Nikon is the Ni-E fixed-stage multiphoton confocal system, capable of whole-animal and deep-tissue imaging. The Ni-U upright microscopy has fly-eye optics built into the transmitted-light illumination system, noise terminator technology to eliminate stray light, and an image capture button.
    • Olympus  presented its new DP73, 17.28 megapixel cooled digital color camera, capable of capturing 15 frames/section in brightfield and widefield fluorescence imaging. Also new is the BX63 automated upright microscope, which features a fixed-stage design and focusing nosepiece to ensure a stable specimen surface. The company’s Andor™ Revolution® XD Spinning Disk Confocal microscope, designed for live-cell imaging, integrates Andor custom coupling optics to optimize optical alignment and minimize chromatic aberration, allows for the use of up to six lasers, and is compatible with 30x and 60x silicone immersion objectives.To enhance 3-D imaging within tissues and organs, Olympus offers the Scaleview 25x objective for use with the Scaleview-A2 clearing reagent, enabling microscope imaging to a depth of 4 mm.
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    Carl Zeiss’ AxioZoom.V16 microscope system reportedly offers a 16x zoom range and a 2.5 higher resolution and 10x brighter fluorescence than a conventional stereomicroscope.
    • Carl Zeiss has integrated its Microimaging and Nano Technology Systems business units into a unified division called Carl Zeiss Microscopy. At “Neuroscience”, Zeiss showcased its expanded ZEN software, including a free trial of the entry-level version ZEN lite 2011.The company’s Shuttle & Find interface for performing correlative microscopy combines the resolution of electron microscopy with the labeling capabilities of fluorescence laser-scanning confocal microscopy.Zeiss’ Axio Zoom.V16 microscope system offers a 16x zoom range and 2.5 higher resolution and 10x brighter fluorescence than a conventional stereomicroscope, according to the company.Also newly introduced was a prototype of Zeiss’ redesigned plan-apochromatic 20x/1.0 VIS-IR objective lens for use with the Scale clearing reagent to enable 3-D imaging at depths down to 5.6 mm in intact brain tissue using a confocal laser scanning or multiphoton microscope.
    • The New B-Scope in vivo imaging system from Thorlabs allows users to perform multiphoton microscopy on live animals. By eliminating the need for a traditional microscope, the B-Scope can provide 10 inches of course travel in the z-axis and can operate in an upright or tilted position, enabling rotation of the imaging plane and image capture from above or from the side of an animal.
    • A fully automated Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) system from Leica, the AM TIRF MC, allows for single-molecule detection and kinetic studies, as well as visualization and analysis of events such as vesicle transport and molecular signaling. It includes four lasers with wavelengths of 405 nm, 488 nm, 561 nm, and 635 nm, and provides a z-resolution of 100–300 nm.The company’s Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy super-resolution confocal/multiphoton system uses two synchronized, pulsed laser beams to illuminate the sample—a 635 nm wavelength laser to excite the fluorochromes followed by a Ti:Sapphire infrared laser pulse, which provides ring-shaped illumination to inhibit fluorescence along the outer edges of the illuminated spot.
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    Drosophila neuromuscular junction labeled with RFP.[QImaging]
    • QImaging’s Rolera™ Bolt Scientific CMOS camera incorporates Pixel-Freeze Technology™ that minimizes dark current. The Rolera Bolt is capable of image capture at 60 frames per second and streaming at full resolution at 30 fps. It can perform imaging and quantitation at low light levels and track high-speed dynamic events.
    • Lumenera introduced two new products at the meeting, including the Infinity HD 2 megapixel microscopy color camera that features a CMOS sensor, 1080p60 streaming video with color output, automatic intensity compensation, and a USB 2.0 port.The company also launched its redesigned Infinity2-IR camera, with 14-bit data output, reduced operating temperature, and a dark current rating of <1 e-/s.
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    Sigma-Aldrich will add an autism rat to its SAGE Lab line later this year.
    • In the first quarter of 2012, Sigma-Aldrich will add an autism knockout rat model to its SAGE™ Labs line. Sigma also added a Panorama® Antibody Array for neurobiology, which includes 224 antibodies spotted in 32 subarrays, each containing duplicate antibody spots, duplicate positive control spots, and several negative controls.
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    Carestream Molecular‘s In-Vivo Xtreme optical and x-ray small-animal imaging system is capable of luminescence, fluorescence, radioisotopic, and radio-graphic imaging.
    • New from Carestream Molecular Imaging is the In-Vivo Xtreme optical and x-ray small-animal imaging system, capable of luminescence, fluorescence, radioisotopic, and radiographic imaging. It combines an f/1.1 lens and CCD sensor, and a back illumated 4 MP camera (with optional front illuminated 16 MP camera). Carestream also recently introduced its Gel Logic 6000 PRO in vitro imaging system for analyzing blots and gels.
    • For cell-based imaging, the ImageXpress Micro Widefield High Content Screening System from Molecular Devices can locate and identify subcellular components and follow them over multiday time-lapse experiments. The system has a 3-log dynamic range and enables screening of >10 million cells/hour.
    • EMD Millipore designed the Direct Detect™ infrared (IR)-based quantitation system to differentiate and quantify the protein, lipid, carbohydrate, and nucleic acid components of a 2 µL biological sample, in place of a Bradford assay.
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    With the BioPhotometer plus, Eppendorf offers a compact UV/Vis photometer for use in molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology.
    • Eppendorf featured the BioPhotometer® plus, with nine wavelengths, preprogrammed methods, and the ability to determine enzyme kinetics, fluorescent dye incorporation rates, and direct absorbance measurements of single wavelengths.
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    A sample specimen image was taken with HD-210 high definition, real-time camera. [DAGE-MTI]
    • New from DAGE-MTI  is the RealView™ HD-210D high-definition color microscope camera, which enables real-time imaging at 60 frames per second. The company added a new autocontrast feature to its IR1000 infrared camera that is available as a retrofit.
    • ProteinSimple’s Simon™ gel-free Western blot system is fully automated, from sample loading to data analysis. It can analyze 12 samples per run, with a run time of 3–5 hours and sample volumes of about 3 µg.
    • ProSieve™ EX buffers from Lonza are suitable for use for protein separation and transfer on polyacrylamide gels in place of tris-glycine, with shorter run times and 10-minute transfers, according to the firm.
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    ViaFlo96 from Integra Biosciences is an automated 96-well pipettor with disposable tips.
    • The Integra Biosciences ViaFlo96 is an automated 96-well pipettor with disposable tips. The company’s Voyager multichannel pipettor automatically adjusts the distance between tips to facilitate 96- to 384-well plate-to-plate transfer. With multistep pipetting capability, the Voyager allows users to pick up, for example, reagent, then air (creating an air pocket in the tip), and then sample, dispensing all of the contents at once and mixing them in a single well.
    • Bio-Rad showcased the Droplet Digital™ PCR technology, recently acquired from QuantaLife, the Protean® i12™ IEF system for 2-D electrophoresis, and the ChemiDoc™ MP imaging system for Western blot quantification.
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    Ingenuity Systems’ IPA helps users to understand the biological causes and effects of observed gene-expression changes.
    • The IPA® software application from Ingenuity Systems analyzes experimental data in the context of known biology. The company’s iReport™ series of interactive reports for analyzing raw gene-expression data is in early-access release and is available free to the first 5,000 researchers.
    • The DetectX® Protein Kinase A activity assay from Arbor Assays quantifies PKA alpha, beta, and gamma activity within three hours. The kit includes a recombinant PKA standard.
    • Enzo Life Sciences launched its PEGylated Protein ELISA kits for quantifying NBR1 and p62 autophagy biomarkers.
    • The BD Falcon™ Cell Culture Multi-Flask from BD Biosciences comes in three- or five-layer versions with 525 cm2 or 875 cm2 surface area, respectively, for space-saving scalability of cell cultures.
    • RapidDirect™ Western blot kits from Solulink include a labeled primary antibody-HRP/antigen complex that is immobilized by α-species IgG attached to NanoLink™ magnetic beads.

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