Genetic engineering and the production of molecules

submitted by: nsf

Theoretical biophysicist William Bialek discusses genetic engineering and how the placement of instructions for a gene alters an organism.

Responsive Neurostimulation to Control Partial Epileptic Seizure

submitted by: mcgheek
Jonathan C. Edwards, M.D., Director of MUSC's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, who participated in the clinical trial that led to recent FDA approval of responsive neurostimulation (RNS) for partial epileptic seizure, discusses how RNS offers for the first time two-way communication with the brain. The RNS device first records seizure activity and, once the electronic signature of a patient's seizures is identified, is programmed to recognize and disrupt that signature.Read “Conversing with...

Optogenetics relies on biodiversity

submitted by: nsf

How two unlikely microbes (that don’t even have brains) led to the development of one of today’s most promising brain research techniques—which is being used to study many diseases including schizophrenia and Parkinson’s.

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.