Minor channel gene…
Its new role now discovered:
Building the synapse!
Peri submitted one of the first dissertation haiku. She is now finishing her Ph.D., and has figured out why the gene she’s studying causes the malfunctions that are observed when it is knocked out in fruit flies. –the editor
Charge makes it so you can hear
without going deaf.
Adria Le Boeuf
I’m studying the sensory cells of the inner ear, hair cells. The actual organs of the hair cells that sense the sound are called hair bundles. A hair bundle is made up of many rods projecting from the cell coated with negatively charged sugars. These charged sugars allow the rods to both hold together and to move against one another without much friction. If there was a lot of friction, the rods would fuse and you would go deaf.
your eyes seeing, seen:
the window through which my mind
sees your view as mine
My dissertation focused on the tendency of individuals to look where others look, both in their overt behavior and, covertly, through visual attention and parietal “mirror” neurons.
frog auditory neurons
speak their own language
I found that when a clawed frog hears conspecific calls made of clicks, peripheral auditory neurons respond with electrical spike pulses time-locked to the clicks (resembling the call they represent), but some higher midbrain neurons give more spikes/click and better-timed spikes only when the click rate is within a specific range. Preference for click rate possibly underlies the frog’s discrimination of one call from another.
Cells in between cells,
make the retina’s magic
and keep its secrets.
Sally W. Aboelala
I studied a class of interneuron in the retina called displaced amacrine cells. My main goal was to understand the physiological and anatomical properties of displaced amacrine cells as a way to understand their contribution to retinal and visual processing.
working mem’ry, are signalled
by V4 neurons
University of California, Berkeley
For my dissertation (2005), I recorded responses of neurons one brain region, known as visual area V4. In addition to the standard visual signals foudn there, I found additional distinct signals representing the three cognitive processes listed in the haiku.
Alpha-2-delta is gone!!!
We can’t develop…
I study a particular fruit fly mutant, in which the alpha-2-delta calcium receptor is knocked out, causing a specific synapse malfunction.
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