News from 2019

A Small but Important Difference [Sanes Lab]

Neurons come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes, with the structure of each type underlying its specific functions. A major preoccupation of developmental biologists is to…

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Foresight in Fish: Physical Intelligence during 3D Prey Capture [Engert Lab]

Babies possess the ability to predict what will happen in their environment based on intuition about gravity, motion, and mass of objects. This has lead to the idea…

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Larval Zebrafish As a Model for Perceptual Decision-making [Engert lab]

During perceptual decision-making, animals need to accumulate sensory evidence over time, but the underlying neural processes remain poorly understood. Here we combine behavioral experiments and whole-brain imaging in…

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Weathering the Storm of Axonal Injury [Sanes Lab]

Injury to the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord) usually leads to irreversible loss of function. This is because many injured neurons die and few if any…

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A Closer Look at Neuronal Rewiring in Brain Development [Lichtman Lab]

In many vertebrates, neural circuits undergo substantial reorganization in early postnatal life. This reorganization strengthens some neuron-to-neuron connections, while other neuronal connections are weakened by synapse elimination. It…

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The Beginning of the End for Ricin Starts at the Tail [Denic Lab]

In the late 1970’s, the KGB inducted ricin into the “cloak and dagger” hall-of-fame by turning a more or less innocuous umbrella tip into their assassin’s weapon of…

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A Homeostatic Circuit for Hunger [Engert and Kunes Labs]

Decades ago, pioneering studies in cats and rodents identified regions within an ancient part of the brain, the hypothalamus, that are sufficient to increase or reduce appetite. Stimulating…

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Nramp is Quite Different from the Textbook Description of a Secondary Transporter! [Gaudet Lab]

Organisms must accumulate scarce nutrients from their environments to survive. This often involves moving molecules up a concentration gradient, which is entropically unfavorable. Active transport proteins embedded in…

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For Signaling Receptors, Location Matters [Ramanathan Lab]

For embryos to develop properly, cells must communicate with one another over long ranges through diffusive chemical signals called morphogens. These signals act as instructive cues for the…

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For Bacillus subtilis, Fate is Just a Game [Losick Lab]

Bacillus subtilis is a bacterium with many talents. Some cells devote themselves to exploration, abandoning their relatives to live as swimming ‘motile’ cells. Others instead choose a cooperative,…

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