About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

ORNL Image Analysis Expertise Propels Retina Research

by Nancy Needhima on December 24, 2011 at 12:33 AM
Font : A-A+

ORNL Image Analysis Expertise Propels Retina Research

Equipped with a latest ability to locate retinal anomalies at the cellular level, discovery has been made by neurobiologists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital hoping it will eventually lead to a treatment for cancer of the retina.

While much work remains, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's specialized tracing algorithm allows researchers to analyze thousands of cells instead of just a few dozen. This tool has helped reveal a previously undiscovered role of Rb, the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene in the developing retina. The findings are detailed in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Advertisement

"Our paper shows that horizontal neurons known to be deficient in this gene exhibited abnormalities in the way their dendrites - the arms that connect to other cells - were organized after a certain number of days after birth," said the Department of Energy lab's Ryan Kerekes, one of the authors. The images of mouse retinas were acquired using confocal microscopy while The Jackson Laboratory provided the mice.

To make their discovery, Kerekes, ORNL colleague Shaun Gleason and postdoc Mahmut Karakaya developed a computer program and automated tool that traces the very complex and intricate dendritic arbor. This tool allows scientists to draw a line along each branch in the neuron's tree of connectors so the branch can be measured in terms of length, angle and other parameters.
Advertisement

"Previously, this was a very time-consuming and labor-intensive process," Kerekes said. "Existing commercial software tools were not tuned to this particular data and, as a result, produced too many tracing errors."

As a result, only a handful of cells could be analyzed in sufficient detail, according to Kerekes, who noted that the ORNL tracing algorithms achieves the level of accuracy required to analyze thousands of developing neurons.

Retinoblastoma is caused by a mutation in a gene controlling cell division, causing cells to grow out of control and become cancerous. It is most commonly found in children 2 and younger.

While this paper focused on cancer of the retina, Gleason noted that this research focuses on a number of retinal developmental issues.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
Test Your Knowledge on Lung Transplantation
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Test Your Knowledge on Artificial Intelligence 

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug - Food Interactions Iron Intake Calculator Accident and Trauma Care Hearing Loss Calculator Find a Hospital Blood Donation - Recipients Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Post-Nasal Drip
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use