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.

Novel cell-based and materials science approach to target Glioblastoma brain cancer tumors

submitted by: nsf

Stefan Bossmann and Deryl Troyer at Kansas State University are developing a novel materials treatment method for persons with brain cancer that uses a type of white blood cell to deliver anticancer drugs to particularly virulent brain tumors.

Melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 polymorphisms are associated with components of energy balance in the CODING study

submitted by: bfontain
BACKGROUND: The melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) is a G protein-coupled receptor that regulates energy balance and body composition in animal models. Inconsistent effects of MCHR1 polymorphisms on energy homeostasis in humans may partly be attributable to environmental factors. OBJECTIVES: We examined the effect of 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs133073, rs133074, rs9611386, and rs882111) in the MCHR1 gene on body composition as well as energy-related lifestyle...
Authors: Bénédicte Fontaine-Bisson, James Thorburn, Anne Gregory, Hongwei Zhang, Guang Sun

biosights: January 20, 2014 - Motors give a new twist to platelet activation

submitted by: JCB
The discoid shape of resting platelets is maintained by a peripheral ring of bundled microtubules called the marginal band. Diagouraga et al. reveal that, upon platelet activation, the motor protein dynein slides microtubules apart, inducing marginal band coiling and the conversion of platelets to a spherical shape. This biosights episode presents the paper by Diagouraga et al. from the January 20, 2014, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with senior author Karin...