Genetic engineering and the production of molecules

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

Optogenetics relies on biodiversity

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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.

Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Adam Riess discusses supernovae

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Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Adam Riess answers questions about his research on supernovae and his life outside the lab.

Theoretical physicist David Kaplan discusses Particle Fever and the Higgs Boson

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Particle Fever, a documentary film about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the Higgs boson, has caught the attention of scientists and non-scientists alike. This interview with David Kaplan, a Johns Hopkins University physics professor and the film's producer, provides a little behind-the-scenes look at life as a physicist and some decision making involved in making Particle Fever.

Lemur lovers' synced scents reflect strength of their bond

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Lemur lovers spread their scents by rubbing glands on everything from tree trunks to their partner. Researchers discovered that the more similar a lemur couples' scents, the stronger their bond. This could be a way to coordinate marking territories, or to display their relationship status to the rest of the group. Lemurs are an endangered species, so learning about mating techniques could be essential to their preservation. For more information visit...

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.