Submitted by lorio on Wed, 2009-11-25 08:00
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have uncovered evidence of a primitive emotion-like behavior in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Their findings, which may be relevant to the relationship between the neurotransmitter dopamine and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are described in the December issue of the journal Neuron.
Submitted by ksvitil on Tue, 2009-11-03 19:00
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Julia R. Greer, assistant professor of materials science, and Doris Tsao, assistant professor of biology, to participate in its Young Faculty Award (YFA) program. Greer and Tsao are among the 33 "rising stars" from 24 U.S. universities who each will receive grants of approximately $300,000 to develop and validate their research ideas over the next 24 months.
Submitted by lorio on Fri, 2009-10-30 07:00
Researchers at Caltech have shown that a highly specific intrabody (an antibody fragment that works against a target inside a cell) is capable of stalling the development of Huntington's disease in a variety of mouse models. "Gene therapy in these models successfully attenuated the symptoms of Huntington's disease and increased life span," notes Paul Patterson, the Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences.
Submitted by ksvitil on Tue, 2009-09-29 22:00
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have proposed a novel model that differs from a widely held hypothesis about the mechanisms by which developing animals pattern their tissues and structures.
Submitted by lorio on Fri, 2009-09-11 07:00
Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques, a team led by researchers from Caltech has for the first time visualized and described the precise arrangement of chemoreceptors—the receptors that sense and respond to chemical stimuli—in bacteria. In addition, they have found that this specific architecture is the same throughout a wide variety of bacterial species, which means that this is a stable, universal structure that has been conserved over evolutionary time.
Submitted by lorio on Tue, 2009-08-18 07:00
A team of scientists from Caltech have pinpointed two groups of neurons in fruit fly brains that have the ability to sense and manipulate the fly's fat stores in much the same way as do neurons in the mammalian brain. The existence of this sort of control over fat deposition and metabolic rates makes the flies a potentially useful model for the study of human obesity, the researchers note.
Submitted by ksvitil on Tue, 2009-08-11 07:00
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and their colleagues in 30 laboratories worldwide have released a new set of standards for graphically representing biological information—the biology equivalent of the circuit diagram in electronics. This visual language should make it easier to exchange complex information, so that biological models are depicted more accurately, consistently, and in a more readily understandable way.
Submitted by lorio on Mon, 2009-07-20 07:00
Most evolutionary changes happen in tiny increments. But when it comes to traits like the number of wings on an insect, or limbs on a primate, there is no middle ground. How are these sorts of large evolutionary leaps made? According to a team led by scientists at Caltech, such changes may at least sometimes be the result of random fluctuations, or noise (nongenetic variations), working alongside a phenomenon known as partial penetrance.
Submitted by ksvitil on Thu, 2009-06-11 18:00
The twirling seeds of maple trees spin like miniature helicopters as they fall to the ground. Because the seeds descend slowly as they swirl, they're carried aloft by the wind and dispersed over great distances. Just how the seeds manage to fall so slowly, however, has mystified scientists. In research published in the June 12 Science, researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Caltech describe the aerodynamic secret of the enchanting swirling seeds.
Submitted by lorio on Fri, 2009-05-29 07:00
Theta oscillations are a type of brain rhythm that orchestrates neuronal activity in the hippocampus, a brain area critical for the formation of new memories. For several decades these oscillations were believed to be "in sync" across the hippocampus, timing the firing of neurons like a sort of central pacemaker. A new study conducted by researchers at Caltech shows that, instead, theta oscillations sweep along the length of the hippocampus as traveling waves.