Posts tagged ‘vision’


  1. Niewoehner O, Garcia-Doval C, Rostøl JT, Berk C, Schwede F, Bigler L, Hall J, Marraffini LA, Jinek M. Type III CRISPR-Cas systems produce cyclic oligoadenylate second messengers. Nature. 2017 Aug 31;548(7669):543-548. doi:10.1038/nature23467. Epub 2017 Jul 19. PubMed PMID: 28722012.
  2. Johnson K, Bailey S. Microbiology: The case of the mysterious messenger. Nature. 2017 Aug 31;548(7669):527-528. doi: 10.1038/nature23532. Epub 2017 Aug 2. PubMed PMID: 28783729.
  3. Jain A, Zode G, Kasetti RB, Ran FA, Yan W, Sharma TP, Bugge K, Searby CC, Fingert JH, Zhang F, Clark AF, Sheffield VC. CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment of myocilin-associated glaucoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 17;114(42):11199-11204. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706193114. Epub 2017 Oct 2. PubMed PMID: 28973933; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5651749.

Molecular biology

  1. García-López V, Chen F, Nilewski LG, Duret G, Aliyan A, Kolomeisky AB, Robinson JT, Wang G, Pal R, Tour JM. Molecular machines open cell membranes. Nature. 2017 Aug 30;548(7669):567-572. doi: 10.1038/nature23657. PubMed PMID: 28858304.


  1. Liang J, Balachandra S, Ngo S, O’Brien LE. Feedback regulation of steady-state epithelial turnover and organ size. Nature. 2017 Aug 31;548(7669):588-591. doi: 10.1038/nature23678. Epub 2017 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 28847000.
  2. Fernandes VM, Chen Z, Rossi AM, Zipfel J, Desplan C. Glia relay differentiation cues to coordinate neuronal development in Drosophila. Science. 2017 Sep 1;357(6354):886-891. doi: 10.1126/science.aan3174. PubMed PMID: 28860380.
  3. Boudreau-Pinsonneault C, Cayouette M. Cell lineage tracing in the retina: Could material transfer distort conclusions? Dev Dyn. 2018 Jan;247(1):10-17. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.24535. Epub 2017 Jul 13. PubMed PMID: 28643368.

Stem cells

  1. Kikuchi T, Morizane A, Doi D, Magotani H, Onoe H, Hayashi T, Mizuma H, Takara S, Takahashi R, Inoue H, Morita S, Yamamoto M, Okita K, Nakagawa M, Parmar M, Takahashi J. Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson’s disease model. Nature. 2017 Aug 30;548(7669):592-596. doi: 10.1038/nature23664. PubMed PMID: 28858313.
  2. Hirota T, Ohta H, Powell BE, Mahadevaiah SK, Ojarikre OA, Saitou M, Turner JMA. Fertile offspring from sterile sex chromosome trisomic mice. Science. 2017 Sep 1;357(6354):932-935. doi: 10.1126/science.aam9046. Epub 2017 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 28818972; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5581950.
  3. Blanchard JW, Xie J, El-Mecharrafie N, Gross S, Lee S, Lerner RA, Baldwin KK. Replacing reprogramming factors with antibodies selected from combinatorial antibody libraries. Nat Biotechnol. 2017 Oct;35(10):960-968. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3963. Epub 2017 Sep 11. PubMed PMID: 28892074.

Eye diseases

  1. Thorn RJ, Clift DE, Ojo O, Colwill RM, Creton R. The loss and recovery of vertebrate vision examined in microplates. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 17;12(8):e0183414. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183414. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28817700; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5560659.
  2. Jain A, Zode G, Kasetti RB, Ran FA, Yan W, Sharma TP, Bugge K, Searby CC, Fingert JH, Zhang F, Clark AF, Sheffield VC. CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment of myocilin-associated glaucoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 17;114(42):11199-11204. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706193114. Epub 2017 Oct 2. PubMed PMID: 28973933; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5651749.


  1. Stowers JR, Hofbauer M, Bastien R, Griessner J, Higgins P, Farooqui S, Fischer RM, Nowikovsky K, Haubensak W, Couzin ID, Tessmar-Raible K, Straw AD. Virtual reality for freely moving animals. Nat Methods. 2017 Aug 21. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4399. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28825703.


  1. Silva HM. Intelligent design endangers education. Science. 2017 Sep 1;357(6354):880. doi: 10.1126/science.aao3245. PubMed PMID: 28860376.

Science Career

My second life as a teacher 



  1. Palmér T, Ek F, Enqvist O, Olsson R, Åström K, Petersson P. Action sequencing in the spontaneous swimming behavior of zebrafish larvae – implications for drug development. Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 9;7(1):3191. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03144-7. PubMed PMID: 28600565; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5466685.
  2. Vliet SM, Ho TC, Volz DC. Behavioral screening of the LOPAC(1280) library in zebrafish embryos. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 Jun 13. pii: S0041-008X(17)30267-3. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2017.06.011. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28623180.


  1. Kaiser J. NIH abandons grant cap, offers new help to younger scientists. Science. 2017 Jun 16;356(6343):1108. doi: 10.1126/science.356.6343.1108. PubMed PMID: 28619891.
  2. Wahls WP. NIH’s ineffective funding policies. Science. 2017 Jun 16;356(6343):1132-1133. doi: 10.1126/science.aan6504. PubMed PMID: 28619908.


  1. Cassels L, Barde YA. Scaling pain threshold with microRNAs. Science. 2017 Jun 16;356(6343):1124-1125. doi: 10.1126/science.aan6784. PubMed PMID: 28619901.
  2. Peng C, Li L, Zhang MD, Bengtsson Gonzales C, Parisien M, Belfer I, Usoskin D, Abdo H, Furlan A, Häring M, Lallemend F, Harkany T, Diatchenko L, Hökfelt T, Hjerling-Leffler J, Ernfors P. miR-183 cluster scales mechanical pain sensitivity by regulating basal and neuropathic pain genes. Science. 2017 Jun 16;356(6343):1168-1171. doi: 10.1126/science.aam7671. Epub 2017 Jun 1. PubMed PMID: 28572455.


  1. Shekhar K, Lapan SW, Whitney IE, Tran NM, Macosko EZ, Kowalczyk M, Adiconis X, Levin JZ, Nemesh J, Goldman M, McCarroll SA, Cepko CL, Regev A, Sanes JR. Comprehensive Classification of Retinal Bipolar Neurons by Single-Cell Transcriptomics. Cell. 2016 Aug 25;166(5):1308-1323.e30. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.054. PubMed PMID: 27565351; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5003425.


  1. Sabbah S, Gemmer JA, Bhatia-Lin A, Manoff G, Castro G, Siegel JK, Jeffery N, Berson DM. A retinal code for motion along the gravitational and body axes. Nature. 2017 Jun 7. doi: 10.1038/nature22818. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28607486.
  2. Demb JB, Clark DA. Vision: These retinas are made for walkin’. Nature. 2017 Jun 7. doi: 10.1038/nature22505. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28607483

Genome editing

  1. Stella S, Alcón P, Montoya G. Structure of the Cpf1 endonuclease R-loop complex after target DNA cleavage. Nature. 2017 May 31. doi: 10.1038/nature22398. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28562584.
  2. Palermo G, Miao Y, Walker RC, Jinek M, McCammon JA. CRISPR-Cas9 conformational activation as elucidated from enhanced molecular simulations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jun 26. pii: 201707645. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1707645114. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28652374.
  3. Shipman SL, Nivala J, Macklis JD, Church GM. CRISPR-Cas encoding of a digital movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria. Nature. 2017 Jul 12. doi: 10.1038/nature23017. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28700573.

Stem cell

  1. Servick K. Stem cell approach for cataracts challenged. Science. 2017 Jun 30;356(6345):1318-1319. doi: 10.1126/science.356.6345.1318. PubMed PMID: 28663449.

Eye disease

  1. Servick K. Stem cell approach for cataracts challenged. Science. 2017 Jun 30;356(6345):1318-1319. doi: 10.1126/science.356.6345.1318. PubMed PMID: 28663449.


  1. Ceballos G, Ehrlich PR, Dirzo R. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jul 10. pii: 201704949. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704949114. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28696295.
  2. Castiglione GM, Hauser FE, Liao BS, Lujan NK, Van Nynatten A, Morrow JM, Schott RK, Bhattacharyya N, Dungan SZ, Chang BSW. Evolution of nonspectral rhodopsin function at high altitudes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jun 22. pii: 201705765. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705765114. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28642345.


  1. Hildebrand DGC, Cicconet M, Torres RM, Choi W, Quan TM, Moon J, Wetzel AW, Scott Champion A, Graham BJ, Randlett O, Plummer GS, Portugues R, Bianco IH, Saalfeld S, Baden AD, Lillaney K, Burns R, Vogelstein JT, Schier AF, Lee WA, Jeong WK, Lichtman JW, Engert F. Whole-brain serial-section electron microscopy in larval zebrafish. Nature. 2017 May 18;545(7654):345-349. doi: 10.1038/nature22356. Epub 2017 May 10. PubMed PMID: 28489821.


  1. Ciabatti E, González-Rueda A, Mariotti L, Morgese F, Tripodi M. Life-Long Genetic and Functional Access to Neural Circuits Using Self-Inactivating Rabies Virus. Cell. 2017 Jul 1. pii: S0092-8674(17)30697-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.06.014. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28689641.


  1. Venter’s New Goal: World’s Largest Sequencing Operation
  2. Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time?


  1. Vanderperre B, Lucier JF, Bissonnette C, Motard J, Tremblay G, Vanderperre S, Wisztorski M, Salzet M, Boisvert FM, Roucou X. Direct detection of alternative open reading frames translation products in human significantly expands the proteome. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 12;8(8):e70698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070698. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 23950983; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3741303.

Stem cells

  1. Acid-bath stem-cell study under investigation.


  1. Tebas P, Stein D, Tang WW, Frank I, Wang SQ, Lee G, Spratt SK, Surosky RT, Giedlin MA, Nichol G, Holmes MC, Gregory PD, Ando DG, Kalos M, Collman RG, Binder-Scholl G, Plesa G, Hwang WT, Levine BL, June CH. Gene editing of CCR5 in autologous CD4 T cells of persons infected with HIV. N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 6;370(10):901-10. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1300662. PubMed PMID: 24597865.
    • Editorial commentary: Kay MA, Walker BD. Engineering cellular resistance to HIV. N Engl J Med. 2014
      Mar 6;370(10):968-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMe1400593. PubMed PMID: 24597871.
    • News coverage: Editing Genes May Make Cells Resist HIV.


How Academia and Publishing are Destroying Scientific Innovation: A Conversation with Sydney Brenner


  1. Flannick J, Thorleifsson G, Beer NL, Jacobs SB, Grarup N, Burtt NP, Mahajan A, Fuchsberger C, Atzmon G, Benediktsson R, Blangero J, Bowden DW, Brandslund I, Brosnan J, Burslem F, Chambers J, Cho YS, Christensen C, Douglas DA, Duggirala R, Dymek Z, Farjoun Y, Fennell T, Fontanillas P, Forsén T, Gabriel S, Glaser B, Gudbjartsson DF, Hanis C, Hansen T, Hreidarsson AB, Hveem K, Ingelsson E, Isomaa  B, Johansson S, Jørgensen T, Jørgensen ME, Kathiresan S, Kong A, Kooner J, Kravic J, Laakso M, Lee JY, Lind L, Lindgren CM, Linneberg A, Masson G, Meitinger T, Mohlke KL, Molven A, Morris AP, Potluri S, Rauramaa R, Ribel-Madsen R, Richard AM, Rolph T, Salomaa V, Segrè AV, Skärstrand H, Steinthorsdottir V, Stringham HM, Sulem P, Tai ES, Teo YY, Teslovich T, Thorsteinsdottir U, Trimmer JK, Tuomi T, Tuomilehto J, Vaziri-Sani F, Voight BF, Wilson JG, Boehnke M, McCarthy MI, Njølstad PR, Pedersen O, Groop L, Cox DR, Stefansson K, Altshuler D. Loss-of-function mutations in SLC30A8 protect against type 2 diabetes. Nat Genet. 2014 Mar 2. doi: 10.1038/ng.2915. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24584071.
  2. Mapstone M, Cheema AK, Fiandaca MS, Zhong X, Mhyre TR, Macarthur LH, Hall WJ, Fisher SG, Peterson DR, Haley JM, Nazar MD, Rich SA, Berlau DJ, Peltz CB, Tan MT, Kawas CH, Federoff HJ. Plasma phospholipids identify antecedent memory impairment in older adults. Nat Med. 2014 Mar 9. doi: 10.1038/nm.3466. [Epub ahead of print]
    PubMed PMID: 24608097.


  1. Foldscope: Origami-based paper microscope


  1. Cressey D. Fish-kill method questioned. Nature. 2014 Feb 27;506(7489):419-20. doi: 10.1038/506419a. PubMed PMID: 24572404.


Eye disease

  1. Fernandez de Castro J, Scott PA, Fransen JW, Demas J, Demarco PJ, Kaplan HJ, McCall MA. Cone Photoreceptors Develop Normally in the Absence of Functional Rod Photoreceptors in a Transgenic Swine Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Mar 11. pii: iovs.13-13724v1. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13724. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24618325.


  1. Partridge JC, Douglas RH, Marshall NJ, Chung WS, Jordan TM, Wagner HJ. Reflecting optics in the diverticular eye of a deep-sea barreleye fish (Rhynchohyalus natalensis). Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Mar 19;281(1782):20133223. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3223. Print 2014. PubMed PMID: 24648222.


  1. Gassmann AJ, Petzold-Maxwell JL, Clifton EH, Dunbar MW, Hoffmann AM, Ingber DA, Keweshan RS. Field-evolved resistance by western corn rootworm to multiple Bacillus thuringiensis toxins in transgenic maize. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24639498.


  1. Bushdid C, Magnasco MO, Vosshall LB, Keller A. Humans can discriminate more than 1 trillion olfactory stimuli. Science. 2014 Mar 21;343(6177):1370-2. doi: 10.1126/science.1249168. PubMed PMID: 24653035.


  1. Mali P, Esvelt KM, Church GM. Cas9 as a versatile tool for engineering biology. Nat Methods. 2013 Sep 27;10(10):957-63. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2649. PubMed  PMID: 24076990.
  2. Esvelt KM, Mali P, Braff JL, Moosburner M, Yaung SJ, Church GM. Orthogonal Cas9 proteins for RNA-guided gene regulation and editing. Nat Methods. 2013 Sep 29. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2681. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24076762.
  3. Jao LE, Wente SR, Chen W. Efficient multiplex biallelic zebrafish genome editing using a CRISPR nuclease system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 20;110(34):13904-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1308335110. Epub 2013 Aug 5. PubMed PMID: 23918387; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3752207.
  4. Pennisi E. The CRISPR craze. Science. 2013 Aug 23;341(6148):833-6. doi: 10.1126/science.341.6148.833. PubMed PMID: 23970676.
  5. Koboldt DC, Steinberg KM, Larson DE, Wilson RK, Mardis ER. The next-generation sequencing revolution and its impact on genomics. Cell. 2013 Sep 26;155(1):27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.09.006. PubMed PMID: 24074859.
  6. Rivera CM, Ren B. Mapping human epigenomes. Cell. 2013 Sep 26;155(1):39-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.09.011. PubMed PMID: 24074860.
  7. Bauer DE, Kamran SC, Lessard S, Xu J, Fujiwara Y, Lin C, Shao Z, Canver MC, Smith EC, Pinello L, Sabo PJ, Vierstra J, Voit RA, Yuan GC, Porteus MH, Stamatoyannopoulos JA, Lettre G, Orkin SH. An Erythroid Enhancer of BCL11A Subject to Genetic Variation Determines Fetal Hemoglobin Level. Science. 2013 Oct 11;342(6155):253-257. PubMed PMID: 24115442.
    • Commentary: Hardison RC, Blobel GA. GWAS to Therapy by Genome Edits? Science. 2013 Oct 11;342(6155):206-207. PubMed PMID: 24115432.


  1. Deeti S, O’Farrell S, Kennedy BN. Early Safety Assessment of Human Oculotoxic Drugs Using the Zebrafish Visualmotor Response. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2013 Sep 30. doi:pii: S1056-8719(13)00299-2. 10.1016/j.vascn.2013.09.002. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24091134.


  1. Chakravarti A, Clark AG, Mootha VK. Distilling pathophysiology from complex disease genetics. Cell. 2013 Sep 26;155(1):21-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.09.001. PubMed PMID: 24074858.
  2. Moreno JA, Halliday M, Molloy C, Radford H, Verity N, Axten JM, Ortori CA, Willis AE, Fischer PM, Barrett DA, Mallucci GR. Oral Treatment Targeting the Unfolded Protein Response Prevents Neurodegeneration and Clinical Disease in Prion-Infected Mice. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Oct 9;5(206):206ra138. PubMed PMID: 24107777.


  1. Tappeiner C, Gerber S, Enzmann V, Balmer J, Jazwinska A, Tschopp M. Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of adult zebrafish. Front Zool. 2012 May 29;9(1):10. PubMed PMID: 22643065; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3453526.
  2. Bianco IH, Kampff AR, Engert F. Prey capture behavior evoked by simple visual stimuli in larval zebrafish. Front Syst Neurosci. 2011;5:101. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2011.00101. PubMed PMID: 22203793; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3240898.

Stem cells

  1. Hou P, Li Y, Zhang X, Liu C, Guan J, Li H, Zhao T, Ye J, Yang W, Liu K, Ge J, Xu J, Zhang Q, Zhao Y, Deng H. Pluripotent stem cells induced from mouse somatic cells by small-molecule compounds. Science. 2013 Aug 9;341(6146):651-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1239278. Epub 2013 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 23868920.


  1. Shomrat T, Levin M. An automated training paradigm reveals long-term memory in planaria and its persistence through head regeneration. J Exp Biol. 2013 Jul 2. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23821717.
  2. Esposti F, Johnston J, Rosa JM, Leung KM, Lagnado L. Olfactory Stimulation Selectively Modulates the OFF Pathway in the Retina of Zebrafish. Neuron. 2013 Jul 10;79(1):97-110. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.05.001. PubMed PMID: 23849198.
    • Commentary: “Dowling JE. Olfaction and Vision Meet in the Retina. Neuron. 2013 Jul 10;79(1):1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.06.024. PubMed PMID: 23849191.


  1. Endeman D, Klaassen LJ, Kamermans M. Action spectra of zebrafish cone photoreceptors. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 5;8(7):e68540. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068540. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23861916; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3702584.


  1. Poznik GD, Henn BM, Yee MC, Sliwerska E, Euskirchen GM, Lin AA, Snyder M, Quintana-Murci L, Kidd JM, Underhill PA, Bustamante CD. Sequencing Y chromosomes resolves discrepancy in time to common ancestor of males versus females. Science. 2013 Aug 2;341(6145):562-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1237619. PubMed PMID: 23908239.
  2. Francalacci P, Morelli L, Angius A, Berutti R, Reinier F, Atzeni R, Pilu R, Busonero F, Maschio A, Zara I, Sanna D, Useli A, Urru MF, Marcelli M, Cusano R, Oppo M, Zoledziewska M, Pitzalis M, Deidda F, Porcu E, Poddie F, Kang HM, Lyons R, Tarrier B, Gresham JB, Li B, Tofanelli S, Alonso S, Dei M, Lai S, Mulas A, Whalen MB, Uzzau S, Jones C, Schlessinger D, Abecasis GR, Sanna S, Sidore C, Cucca F. Low-pass DNA sequencing of 1200 Sardinians reconstructs European Y-chromosome phylogeny. Science. 2013 Aug 2;341(6145):565-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1237947. PubMed PMID: 23908240.
  3. Fu Y, Foden JA, Khayter C, Maeder ML, Reyon D, Joung JK, Sander JD. High-frequency off-target mutagenesis induced by CRISPR-Cas nucleases in human cells. Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Jun 23. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2623. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23792628.

Since our lab is studying retina, I am intrigued in reading this article about the limitation of retina display by Apple, how we see and the future of developing better displays.

From cultofmac by John Brownlee: Why Retina Isn’t Enough

Apple’s new MacBook Pro follows the fine tradition of the iPhone 4 and third-gen iPad in that it has a super high-resolution Retina display: a 2880 x 1800 panel with an amazing 220 pixels packed in per inch.

It’s an incredible display. In fact, it’s such an incredible display that it actually has about one million, seven hundred thousand pixels more than it needs to satisfy Apple’s definition of Retina, leading some to claim that those pixels are all going to waste.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Apple’s new MacBook Pros have absolutely great displays, but they need every single pixel they have, because the truth of the matter is that Apple’s got a long way to go before it catches its display tech up to the incredible power of human vision. And that’s a good thing, because it means we’ve got a lot to look forward to.


Retinal Development

  1. Kwan KM, Otsuna H, Kidokoro H, Carney KR, Saijoh Y, Chien CB. A complex choreography of cell movements shapes the vertebrate eye. Development. 2012 Jan;139(2):359-72. PubMed PMID: 22186726.
  2. Morgan JL, Soto F, Wong RO, Kerschensteiner D. Development of cell type-specific connectivity patterns of converging excitatory axons in the retina. Neuron. 2011 Sep 22;71(6):1014-21. Epub 2011 Sep 21. PubMed PMID: 21943599; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3184549.

Stem cells

  1. Salero E, Blenkinsop TA, Corneo B, Harris A, Rabin D, Stern JH, Temple S. Adult Human RPE Can Be Activated into a Multipotent Stem Cell that Produces Mesenchymal Derivatives. Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Jan 6;10(1):88-95. PubMed PMID: 22226358.
    • Commentary: Trounson A, Grieshammer U. Chimeric Primates: Embryonic Stem Cells Need Not Apply. Cell. 2012 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22225613.
  2. Phanstiel DH, Brumbaugh J, Wenger CD, Tian S, Probasco MD, Bailey DJ, Swaney DL, Tervo MA, Bolin JM, Ruotti V, Stewart R, Thomson JA, Coon JJ. Proteomic and phosphoproteomic comparison of human ES and iPS cells. Nat Methods. 2011 Sep 11;8(10):821-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1699. PubMed PMID: 21983960.


  1. Zhang F, Vierock J, Yizhar O, Fenno LE, Tsunoda S, Kianianmomeni A, Prigge M, Berndt A, Cushman J, Polle J, Magnuson J, Hegemann P, Deisseroth K. The microbial opsin family of optogenetic tools. Cell. 2011 Dec 23;147(7):1446-57. PubMed PMID: 22196724.
  2. McMahon MA, Rahdar M, Porteus M. Gene editing: not just for translation anymore. Nat Methods. 2011 Dec 28;9(1):28-31. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1811. PubMed PMID: 22205513.
  3. Zhao S, Ting JT, Atallah HE, Qiu L, Tan J, Gloss B, Augustine GJ, Deisseroth K, Luo M, Graybiel AM, Feng G. Cell  type–specific channelrhodopsin-2 transgenic mice for optogenetic dissection of neural circuitry function. Nat Methods. 2011 Sep;8(9):745-52. PubMed PMID: 21985008; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3191888.


  1. Kalhor R, Tjong H, Jayathilaka N, Alber F, Chen L. Genome architectures revealed by tethered chromosome conformation capture and population-based modeling. Nat Biotechnol. 2011 Dec 25;30(1):90-8. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2057. PubMed PMID: 22198700.
    • Commentary: Misteli T. Parallel genome universes. Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Jan 9;30(1):55-6. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2085. PubMed PMID: 22231096.
  2. Lam HY, Clark MJ, Chen R, Chen R, Natsoulis G, O’Huallachain M, Dewey FE, Habegger L, Ashley EA, Gerstein MB, Butte AJ, Ji HP, Snyder M. Performance comparison of whole-genome sequencing platforms. Nat Biotechnol. 2011 Dec  18;30(1):78-82. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2065. PubMed PMID: 22178993.
  3. Mercer TR, Gerhardt DJ, Dinger ME, Crawford J, Trapnell C, Jeddeloh JA, Mattick JS, Rinn JL. Targeted RNA sequencing reveals the deep complexity of the human transcriptome. Nat Biotechnol. 2011 Nov 13;30(1):99-104. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2024. PubMed PMID: 22081020.

Systems Biology

  1. Young JW, Locke JC, Altinok A, Rosenfeld N, Bacarian T, Swain PS, Mjolsness E, Elowitz MB. Measuring single-cell gene expression dynamics in bacteria using fluorescence time-lapse microscopy. Nat Protoc. 2011 Dec 15;7(1):80-8. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2011.432. PubMed PMID: 22179594.
  2. Dutkowski J, Ideker T. Protein networks as logic functions in development and cancer. PLoS Comput Biol. 2011 Sep;7(9):e1002180. Epub 2011 Sep 29. PubMed PMID: 21980275; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3182870.


  1. Kralj JM, Douglass AD, Hochbaum DR, Maclaurin D, Cohen AE. Optical recording of action potentials in mammalian neurons using a microbial rhodopsin. Nat Methods. 2011 Nov 27;9(1):90-5. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1782. PubMed PMID: 22120467; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3248630.
    • Commentary: Looger LL. Running in reverse: rhodopsins sense voltage. Nat Methods. 2011 Dec 28;9(1):43-4. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1817. PubMed PMID: 22205516.
  2. Pan YA, Choy M, Prober DA, Schier AF. Robo2 determines subtype-specific axonal projections of trigeminal sensory neurons. Development. 2012 Feb;139(3):591-600. Epub 2011 Dec 21. PubMed PMID: 22190641; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3252355.
  3. Nishimoto S, Vu AT, Naselaris T, Benjamini Y, Yu B, Gallant JL. Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies. Curr Biol. 2011 Oct 11;21(19):1641-6. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PubMed PMID: 21945275.
  4. Cavallari N, Frigato E, Vallone D, Fröhlich N, Lopez-Olmeda JF, Foà A, Berti R, Sánchez-Vázquez FJ, Bertolucci C, Foulkes NS. A blind circadian clock in cavefish reveals that opsins mediate peripheral clock photoreception. PLoS Biol. 2011 Sep;9(9):e1001142. Epub 2011 Sep 6. PubMed PMID: 21909239; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3167789.


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We have recently begun to work on a project that requires us to find out whether a zebrafish larva can see or not. To this end, we have built a small machine to check whether the larvae show a visual behaviour called the optokinetic response (OKR).

This video shows the OKR machine, which is essentially a drum with black and white stripes that the rotating direction is controlled by a motor.


The fish larvae will be immobilized in thick solution in a Petri dish, which will be put inside the drum. The larvae with normal vision will be able to track the stripe rotation and move their eye balls. In this video, the bottom larva shows a normal OKR, while the top one does not show an OKR. It does not show an OKR because it is a blind mutant. An air bubble is put on the left to reflect the direction of the stripe movement.


During the process of fabricating this machine, we had come across with another cheaper way to do the same thing. There is a type of ancient Chinese lantern that part of outside drum will move due to heat convection generated by the light (A picture can be found in this Chinese article). We bought a contemporary version that the moving drums are driven by a motor. The type that we bought has the moving mechanism for rotating in opposite direction. We then took apart the lantern and used the moving mechanism to drive the opposite rotating stripes. See the following video for the moving mechanism of this alternative version of OKR.


Even though it is not perfect, it works! The most amazing part is the difference in the cost of fabrication.

  • The OKR machine made from Chinese Lantern: ~ $US 3 (for buying the Chinese Lantern)
  • The OKR machine that is made as shown in the first video: ~$US 150 (for materials) + ~$600 (for labor) = ~ $800 (and that does not include the controller box) !!!
  • A turnkey solution from a company costs > $40,000!

That is actually another example of the difference in the cost structure in doing research between the East and the West!

I also had a lot of fun sourcing other cheap parts for the final setup. For example, I have bought a very decent eye-piece camera for less than $40 (the price seems to have gone up a bit since then… but it is still very cheap) to capture the video of larval eye movement as shown in the second video. I have also bought a very economical ring light from AmScope for less than $60 for illuminating the drum area finally.

We are going to use this assay to identify fish with eye problems and then characterize the underlying molecular defects. That will help us study and find cures for the same diseases in human.


I read several classic papers when I am planning projects with some of you. This is a very good review paper on the fundamental architecture of retina. There are a lot useful histological facts and observations. It has great discussions on how the retinal architecture has evolved and in turn provides the necessary visual functions to the animal. I believe you will also find this review paper useful.


Masland RH. The fundamental plan of the retina. Nat Neurosci. 2001 Sep;4(9):877-86.[PubMed][Nat Neurosci]