Optical Revolution meeting, Sept 6-10, Woods Hole

The 71st Annual Symposium of General Physiologists is entitled “The Optical Revolution in Physiology: from Membrane to Brain“. It features some great scientists including: Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Atsushi Miyawaki, Eric Betzig, Vivian Gradinaru, Na Ji, and more. It will be held September 6-10, 2017, at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA. The early deadline

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Using NI DAQmx in MATLAB

This post is from Rob Campbell: As part of TENSS [editor’s note: this course is run by great people– highly recommended] we have created a set of examples showing how to use DAQmx in MATLAB without the Data Acquisition Toolbox. This is achieved using Vidrio’s free wrapper, which exposes almost all of the DAQmx API

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OpenMV – Fast and easy machine vision

OpenMV is an open source machine vision system. It’s designed to be easy-to-use, with a gentle learning curve. They want this to be the “Arduino of Machine Vision”. The software IDE is free and open. The hardware is available from Sparkfun and other places. Color blob detection, eye and pupil tracking, motion detection, etc. You

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Moire lenses

Moiré lenses are cool: two patterned diffractive optical elements are rotated relative to each other to vary the power of the “lens”. Just watch the video (below). Demonstration of focus-tunable diffractive Moiré-lenses Stefan Bernet, Walter Harm, and Monika Ritsch-Marte Vol. 21, Issue 6, pp. 6955-6966 (2013) •https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.006955 And their 2008 theoretical work.

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Democratized state-of-the-art neuroscience

Andre and colleagues have a preprint up on their project generating inexpensive instrumentation for imaging and optogenetics experiments. The 100 Euro Lab: A 3-D Printable Open Source Platform For Fluorescence Microscopy, Optogenetics And Accurate Temperature Control During Behaviour Of Zebrafish, Drosophila And C. elegans. The authors use this instrumentation in courses at African universities. Open

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March for Science – Apr 22

OSA – Optical Society of America SfN – Society for Neuroscience March for Science

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Nature is diluting their brand

From MIT. Hat tip to J.S. More print-outs: Flyer in the Physics building Kawaii psychophysics

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Actually useful comments on scientific blogging

I came across Rachel Thomas’ comments on blogging in the context of machine learning, and they’re good. I’ve been telling people things like this for awhile now and Rachel distills them better than I do. I’ll quote some of my favorites, but check out her post to read the full story. This single point was

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PMT power supply

I was cleaning house a bit, and among my old files I found this, which might be worth sharing. Years ago I made a centralized power supply for a custom 2-photon imaging system I built. There were two epi detectors (for red & green fluorescence) and three trans detectors (red, green, and IR-based “DIC-like Dodt”

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Driving a green laser pointer with MicroManager

Reminder: green laser pointers have a ton of IR in them. It needs to be filtered out if you don’t want it. See this old (2011!) Labrigger post. I.e., Paul and Kurt are right (see above). The absurd amount of power you measure out of a “green” laser pointer is not because it is recklessly

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Pixy computer vision for tracking mouse behavior

Pixy is an open source computer vision system. Mostafa Nashaat, Robert Sachdev, and colleagues including Matthew Larkum have developed software for use with the Pixy, that can be used to track mouse behavior, including free movement around an enclosure (top image), or track the movement of individual whiskers (bottom image), all at 50 Hz. Here’s

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Analysis algorithms: performance quantification and ground truth

We recently tweeted about a preprint from Eftychios A Pnevmatikakis and Andrea Giovannucci (code). The preprint is on motion correction for calcium imaging data. It is a nice quick read and discusses earlier work in the area. (That’s Eftychios of constrained-non-negative-matrix-factorization-for-calcium-imaging-analysis fame). Marius Pachitariu recognized the algorithm as very similar to one that he uses

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Intan CLAMP Patch Clamp Amplifier Systems

Multiple people have asked for a discussion of Intan CLAMP patch clamp amplifiers. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they’re miniaturized patch clamp amplifiers. What looks like a headstage, is actually an entire amplifier. So that cable out the back of the “headstage” is actually a digital signal, and thus less susceptible to noise.

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The breadboard you didn’t know you wanted

It’s a microcontroller built into a breadboard. Actually, TWO microcontrollers. Both are Arduino-compatible. ATmega16U2 and ATmega328P. It comes in both black, white, and pink because style matters. P.S. The bottom side is filled with Lego connectors. We love Legos, but we bet we’ll never use that feature. Still, it can’t hurt.

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Series resistance in patch clamp experiments

For teaching electrophysiology, there’s still a lack of comprehensive references. In particular, it can be difficult to impart to students an intuitive feel for the quality or fidelity of electrophysiological recordings. How close to the truth are those traces you just recorded? This sort of practical discussion is often touched upon in electrophysiological texts, but

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