Thursday, 02 August 2012 22:57

New category: Ground-breaking Technology Featured

The InVitroJobs website now features a new category, "Ground-breaking Technology", in which selected scientific publications are compiled in a thematic bibliography. The list includes milestones in the development of technological highlights which already can or could in the future replace animal experiments for specific topics.

The section starts with non-invasive techniques (fMRI, MEG) in cognitive neuroscience and neurobiology. Because of their non-invasiveness, they can be used on human volunteers without concerns.

For example, a Berlin research group led by Dr. Martin Burghoff from the Physikalisch-Technische-Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Berlin is working on direct, non-invasive imaging of neural signals by means of nuclear magnetic resonance-dependent processes (so-called low field nuclear magnetic resonance technique, LF NMR, (Höfner, N. et al. 2011)). By contrast, the current standard imaging method for depicting brain activity, the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can only indirectly record neural signals. The latter measures the oxygen concentration in the blood flowing through the brain's blood vessels, with brain activity leading to measurable changes.

However, it is still hotly debated how neural signal processing and oxygen load are connected with one another. For this reason a direct measuring method with high spatial resolution which is also non-invasive would render primate models superfluous for a variety of issues, especially in the field of cognitive neuroscience. As the new methods are can be used together with high temporal resolution methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MEG) ("multimodal imaging", see Kraus R. H. et al. 2008), the non-invasive location-based depiction of "high-speed" neural processes is becoming increasingly feasible.

Click here to view the new category...