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This image of a cultured hippocampal neuron expressing the calcium sensor GCaMP6s was submitted by Thomas Chater. The GCaMP6s was fused to Lifeact, in order to localise the calcium sensor to regions rich in actin, such as the postsynaptic synaptic compartment. Left image is the integrated activity of the neuron over a few minutes. The other panels show the synaptic activity coloured-coded depending on its timing.

Thomas studied at the University of Edinburgh, before moving to the University of Bristol to do a PhD. Now, he works at RIKEN in the Centre for Brain Science, Japan, in the Laboratory of Synaptic Plasticity and Connectivity. Here, he studies synaptic dynamics, primarily using confocal and 2 photon imaging, combined with glutamate uncaging and electrophysiology, to monitor and elicit synaptic plasticity at defined inputs. His research focuses on how neurons regulate the strength and number of synapses across their dendritic arbors, and how changes in strength at active synapses can modulate nearby inactive neighbours.

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Reproducibility problems: what reproducibility problems??

Posted by , on 20 September 2021

Francis Bacon pointed out in the 17th Century that a lot of ‘science’ was performed by simply reciting the statements of authorities as a way to establish truths. He argued for a robust methodology for observing and recording phenomena and then carefully analysing that to then accept or reject the original hypothesis (Novum Organum, 1620).

News digest

Posted by , on 17 September 2021

Here is a selection of interesting news, publications and discussions related to microscopy that happened in the past month. Thank you to our ‘FocalPlane reporters’ – Martin Jones, Manish Kumar, Andrey Andreev and Parash Prasad – who helped us create this list. Twitter Microscopes and imaging tools: CoCos, optimising spectral resolution… PSF engineering to

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Posted by , on 14 September 2021

Lipids are crucial elements of mammalian (and non-mammalian) cell biology and yet lipids are challenging to visualise in situ. In comparison to proteins, which we can generate antibodies for, or carbohydrates, some of which we can detect using fluorescent lectins, there are relatively few lipid-specific fluorescent probes. Many lipids are highly conserved across species making

Temperature control in light microscopy – challenges and solutions

Sponsored by Interherence, on 9 September 2021

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Tissue clearing: what invisible samples reveal about biology

Posted by , on 8 September 2021

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Updated on 15 September 2021