FYI:[MURG]: Wow! Watching synapses fire! (fwd)

Eugene Leitl (
Sat, 3 May 1997 10:27:08 +0200 (MET DST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 16:51:57 -0700
From: Joseph J. Strout <>
To: Mind Uploading Research Group <>
Subject: [MURG]: Wow! Watching synapses fire!

Science magazine today (276:547) printed a blurb on a paper in Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.) (*) on some really important
work. Researchers have conjugated luciferase (a chemical which glows when
it joins up with luciferin) to synaptotagmin, a protein found in synaptic
vescicles. The result is that they can now image individual synapses
firing, over a wide area and in real time. This is going to be a VERY
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ (emph. by 'gene)
important technique; when you can monitor all the natural inputs (via this
technique) and simultaneously monitor the output (via an electrode or
several other methods), you can characterize the computational properties
of the neuron under natural circumstances.

I think the neuron will be completely understood by the end of the
millenium. Now all we have to do is develop techniques for digitizing

Onward & Upward,
-- Joe

(*) Miesenbock and Rothman, PNAS USA, 94:3402 (1997).

| Joseph J. Strout Department of Neuroscience, UCSD |
| |