biosights: February 17, 2014 - Shroom takes embryos to new dimensions

submitted by: JCB
During development, the planar polarized distribution of Rho kinase and Myosin II helps Drosophila germ-band cells intercalate so that the embryo extends along its anterior-posterior axis. Simoes et al. reveal how Rho GTPase and the actin-binding protein Shroom combine to regulate the localization of Rho kinase and actomyosin contractility during axis elongation. This biosights episode presents the paper by Simoes et al. from the February 17, 2014, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and...

Walt Wilczynski discusses research on the responses by non-mammals to signals during mating competitions

submitted by: nsf

Walter Wilczynski of Georgia State University is researching how non-mammals signal one another in mating competitions, and how these signals influence the behavior of individual males and females. According to Wilczynski's research, an individual's behavioral responses to such signals and whether it loses or wins a mating competition may modify its brain in ways that may influence its future behavior.

Hans Hofmann explains how environment and genetics influence the brains and behavior of cichlid fish

submitted by: nsf
Hans Hofmann of the University of Texas, Austin, is researching the influences of environment and genetics on the brains and behavior of cichlid fish. Cichlids provide excellent model organisms for such studies because thousands of species of cichlids have evolved; many of these species are genetically similar but behaviorally and socially different from one another. Hofmann is using the diversity of cichlid species to help identify which genes regulate various behaviors and evaluate how...

Melina Hale explains how her research of zebrafish is helping to advance brain research

submitted by: nsf

Melina Hale of the University of Chicago is studying neuronal circuits in zebrafish that generate startle responses. Because little is known about how circuits operate in any organism and because startle responses are controlled by relatively simple circuits, an improved understanding of the circuitry of the zebrafish's startle responses is expected to help lay the groundwork for research on more complicated circuits.

Clifton Ragsdale reveals why octopuses are such successful predators

submitted by: nsf

Clifton Ragsdale of the University of Chicago is researching the nervous system of the octopus, which is a successful predator partly because it has excellent eyesight--the best of any invertebrate. The octopus's excellent eyesight enables it to visually zero in and focus on prey.

Partha Mitra explains his mouse brain research

submitted by: nsf

Partha Mitra of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is currently focused on the Mouse Brain Architecture Project (MAP), which is aimed at creating 3-D maps of the mouse brain at various scales.