Any Electrophysiologists Out There?

Discussion in 'Community' started by themadchemist, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #1
    I just started working in an electrophys lab a few months ago. It's pretty cool. Patching onto cells is a pretty enjoyable technique. I find the dissection rather unpalatable from a moral standpoint, but hopefully my research will have some medical applications so that those animals weren't sacrificed pointlessly.

    BUT, the point of this thread was that I was wondering if there are any electrophysiologists out there. I'm trying to see if this field in general is something I might want to be involved with and I was interested in hearing about people's research and take on the field.
     
  2. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #2
    I know a bit about electrophys. However, I can only offer my opinion. Electrophysiology is a useful technical skill but one that is perhaps soon to be outmoded. If you can learn it and understand it, it will always be useful in understanding a great deal of physiology (particularly with regards to neuro).

    The reason I believe electrophys will be increasingly outmoded is because reporter dyes are getting better (such as the acetylated reporters sold by molecularprobes), the means to detect these dyes are improving (think LSCM, multi-photon, and nipkow disc based imaging), and many people are increasingly interested in smaller things that you can't jab with an electrode (such as dendritic spines). Furthermore, NMR resolution is improving, perhaps not to the point where you can see individual neurons, but the trend suggests eventually fMRI might be the way to go.

    hope that is helpful (*remember, this was only my opinion... look at any modern journal, chances are you'll still find plenty of electrohysiological data).
     
  3. Dros macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #3
    I don't do electrophysiology, but I work with people that do. I would say, electrophysiology is a technique (as you already said). So it is nice to have in the toolbox. But it isn't really a field. If you focus more on the biological question involved, you won't be outdated in 10 years because you'll be the first to move to a better technique. Are you interested in cognition or development of neural circuits or what? I would be sure to get a hardcore grounding in molecular and genetic approaches, because that is what you will need in 10 years to study those questions.
     
  4. themadchemist thread starter macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #4
    Point well taken. I'm still an undergrad (actually, just a sophomore), so I'm trying to feel things out...There are a lot of questions that seem interesting. I'm not sure I'm informed enough yet to know which ones are most compelling to me.
     
  5. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #5
    Well, two uses that are interesting: LTP/LTD (thought to underlie learning and memory), and pharmacological applications of electrophys are compelling.
     

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