December 9, 2019
How do animals communicate information about danger? When a threat is detected by one animal, how do they pass it along to others? Does empathy play a role in how a create responds to a threat? Does the reaction of others around you change your response to threats? What chemical causes you to freeze in response to danger? How does serotonin cause deer in the headlights moments? What's the link between serotonin and slowing down in response to danger?
- Yingying Han, Rune Bruls, Efe Soyman, Rajat Mani Thomas, Vasiliki Pentaraki, Naomi Jelinek, Mirjam Heinemans, Iege Bassez, Sam Verschooren, Illanah Pruis, Thijs Van Lierde, Nathaly Carrillo, Valeria Gazzola, Maria Carrillo, Christian Keysers. Bidirectional cingulate-dependent danger information transfer across rats. PLOS Biology, 2019; 17 (12): e3000524 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000524
- Clare E. Howard, Chin-Lin Chen, Tanya Tabachnik, Rick Hormigo, Pavan Ramdya, Richard S. Mann. Serotonergic Modulation of Walking in Drosophila. Current Biology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.10.042
November 11, 2019
This week we look at the way our brains process sound, music, pitch and rhythm. How does our brain figure out where a sound is coming from? Do our eyes and ears process distance and location in a similar way? How does our brain discern differences in stimuli? What can we learn about pitch and rhythm from studying a remote Bolivian tribe? Is there a biological limit to our perception of sounds? Is our ability to perceive rhythm, chords and pitch cultural or biological?
- Antje Ihlefeld, Nima Alamatsaz, Robert M Shapley. Population rate-coding predicts correctly that human sound localization depends on sound intensity. eLife, 2019; 8 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.47027
- Nori Jacoby, Eduardo A. Undurraga, Malinda J. McPherson, Joaquín Valdés, Tomás Ossandón, Josh H. McDermott. Universal and Non-universal Features of Musical Pitch Perception Revealed by Singing. Current Biology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.08.020
September 23, 2019
Is it possible to stop Alzheimer's in it's tracks? How does the formation of plaques on your brain cells lead to Alzheimer's. Does the your brain immune cells fighting back against plaques lead to Alzheimers? Amino acids in the brain tying themselves into knots, can lead to super strong sealed zippers forming which dry out proteins, damage neurons and eventually can lead to diseases like Alzheimer's. An enzyme missing a repair or two over 60 years can lead to build up of kinked amino acids chains which can lead to neuron-degenerative diseases. What causes a cell to eat itself? Well its actually a pretty healthy thing to do. If a brain cell doesn't eat itself at the right time, well it can lead to a whole bunch of diseases.
- Rebeccah A. Warmack, David R. Boyer, Chih-Te Zee, Logan S. Richards, Michael R. Sawaya, Duilio Cascio, Tamir Gonen, David S. Eisenberg, Steven G. Clarke. Structure of amyloid-β (20-34) with Alzheimer’s-associated isomerization at Asp23 reveals a distinct protofilament interface. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11183-z
- Elizabeth Spangenberg, Paul L. Severson, Lindsay A. Hohsfield, Joshua Crapser, Jiazhong Zhang, Elizabeth A. Burton, Ying Zhang, Wayne Spevak, Jack Lin, Nicole Y. Phan, Gaston Habets, Andrey Rymar, Garson Tsang, Jason Walters, Marika Nespi, Parmveer Singh, Stephanie Broome, Prabha Ibrahim, Chao Zhang, Gideon Bollag, Brian L. West, Kim N. Green. Sustained microglial depletion with CSF1R inhibitor impairs parenchymal plaque development in an Alzheimer’s disease model. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11674-z
- Yi Yang, Thea L. Willis, Robert W. Button, Conor J. Strang, Yuhua Fu, Xue Wen, Portia R. C. Grayson, Tracey Evans, Rebecca J. Sipthorpe, Sheridan L. Roberts, Bing Hu, Jianke Zhang, Boxun Lu, Shouqing Luo. Cytoplasmic DAXX drives SQSTM1/p62 phase condensation to activate Nrf2-mediated stress response. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11671-2
August 26, 2019
Your brain uses proteins synthesis and redundancy to help form and keep memories. Intricate biochemistry helps your neurons connect to each other to form new memories. Forming new memories is a sticky situation. Keeping them stuck together over time in a long lasting memory relies on protein synthesis. Its important not just to have strong connections between neurons to form memories, you also need spares. By having redundancy and backups it means that you can still remember a key memory if one of those connections fails.
- Lenzie Ford et al. CPEB3 inhibits translation of mRNA targets by localizing them to P bodies. PNAS, 2019 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1815275116
- Walter G. Gonzalez, Hanwen Zhang, Anna Harutyunyan, Carlos Lois. Persistence of neuronal representations through time and damage in the hippocampus. Science, 2019: Vol. 365, Issue 6455, pp. 821-825 DOI: 10.1126/science.aav9199