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Volume 21 Issue 6, June 2024

Mapping white matter in chimpanzee

Transverse view of a whole-brain tract-density reconstruction of white matter pathways in the chimpanzee brain. Color indicates tissue orientation and brightness encodes density of reconstructed fiber streamlines.

See Eichner et al.

Image: Cornelius Eichner, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Cover design: Thomas Phillips

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  • Dimension reduction helps to visualize high-dimensional datasets. These tools should be used thoughtfully and with tuned parameters. Sometimes, these methods take a second thought.

    • Vivien Marx

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  • A multiomics method measures both the cellular three-dimensional genome and transcriptome at the single-cell level.

    • Jane Kawaoka
    • Stavros Lomvardas
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  • We developed a two-pronged strategy to functionally probe the enormous repertoire of noncoding DNA within genomes. Our approach markedly improved signal-to-noise ratio and successfully intersected single-cell genomics with reporter assays. The result delivers a multiplex and highly quantitative readout of regulatory sequences’ activity in dynamic and multicellular systems.

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  • Spatial transcriptomics and mRNA splicing measurements encode rich spatiotemporal information for cell states and their transitions. We present a multiscale dynamical system method for reconstructing cell-state-specific dynamics and spatial state transitions. This theory-based approach reconciles short-timescale local tensor streamlines between cells with long-timescale transition paths that connect cell attractors.

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  • An experimental method to study how cells sense and react to external mechanical forces combines controlled mechanical stimulation using nanopipettes with fluorescence imaging of membrane tension. This approach facilitates the study of mechanosensitive ion channels and the propagation of cell membrane tension.

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  • A fundamental mechanism for information processing in the brain is electrical activity. However, observing such activity at the single-cell level is challenging. We have developed an optical microscope that combines the advantages of targeted illumination and confocal gating to enable kilohertz-rate voltage imaging across large fields of view in thick tissue.

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  • Cell segmentation currently involves the use of various bespoke algorithms designed for specific cell types, tissues, staining methods and microscopy technologies. We present a universal algorithm that can segment all kinds of microscopy images and cell types across diverse imaging protocols.

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  • Comparing brain connectivity between chimpanzees and humans is a means of understanding human cognition and evolution. To address the scarcity of chimpanzee neuroimaging data, we introduce a high-quality MRI resource that reveals previously unseen anatomical details, offering valuable insights into human brain evolution.

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