All Blog Posts (22)

Graduate positions available in behavioral neurogenomics/neuroethology, University of Nebraska at Omaha

The Wong lab is seeking applications for graduate student positions (Master’s or Ph.D.). The lab is broadly interested in the proximate mechanisms of variation in complex behaviors. We employ an integrative approach to understand the molecular and neural mechanisms of stress coping and related behaviors. More specifically, we examine the network of brain regions that modulate variation in stress coping and explore the neural and neurotranscriptomic mechanisms underlying observed interaction…

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Added by Ryan Ying Wong on December 7, 2016 at 1:20pm — No Comments

The Research Works Act

There has been a lot of discussion online about the Research Works Act, an American bill (discussed here) that would make it illegal for a US government agency to have policies requiring research they fund be available as open access. As far as I know, only NIH does this now.

I would like to know:

  • Does Karger have a position on this?
  • Does…
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Added by Zen Faulkes on January 20, 2012 at 6:20am — No Comments

Demonstrating syngeny

There’s much excitement about a new paper in Science that shows how ants have hidden potential. In short, there are a few species of ants that can produce “supersoldiers”. Other ant species, however, can also make supersoliders when they are experimentally give the right dose of hormone.

Crudely, it looks like the ants’ ancestors had the ability by changing the hormone levels, but the pathway that was sensitive to the hormone remained. When species started to evolve differences in…

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Added by Zen Faulkes on January 10, 2012 at 3:00am — No Comments

Non-nuclear nano neurons

(Crossposted from NeuroDojo)

Living things are made out of cells. Most people with even a passing familiarity with cells knows some of the parts that they have. A membrane to keep the outside out and the inside in. Some mitochondria for energy. Some endoplasmic reticulum to make your proteins. But the part of the cell that is the most familiar, the most famous, the big mac daddy of organelles, is the home of DNA, the center, the nucleus.

But now, my friends!…

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Added by Zen Faulkes on November 19, 2011 at 3:08pm — No Comments

It's nothing personal, it's just that my brain is bigger than yours

(Crossposted from NeuroDojo)





Now you may be thinking that lemurs are all just the same. You know, cute and cuddly adorableness. But let me tell you, you would be mistaken.…



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Added by Zen Faulkes on December 12, 2010 at 11:11am — 1 Comment

Are big brains better for long trips in bats?

(Crossposted from NeuroDojo) Previously...

(M)igration causes brain size to reduce, rather than the other way around.

The quote might be a bit misleading, though, because that was in reference to bird migration. All manner of animals migrate, and it is possible that birds face pressure other creatures don’t.

A good first place to look for a…

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Added by Zen Faulkes on December 12, 2010 at 11:08am — No Comments

Eyes on the edge: How archerfish see in and out of water

[Crossposted from NeuroDojo]



Archerfish rock.



These little sharpshooters are famous for being able to spit water at an insect, not on the surface of the water, but a good ways above it. And these insects are often camouflaged to boot. Then, they have to catch the insect when it hits the water before other fish get it, or it gets swept away… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on August 18, 2010 at 3:27pm — No Comments

The elephant and the shrew, an axonal story

(Crossposted from NeuroDojo.)



The world is different for small animals and big animals. J.B.S. Haldane said it best:



To the mouse and any smaller animal (gravity) presents practically no dangers. You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a…
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Added by Zen Faulkes on July 2, 2010 at 6:10am — 1 Comment

Building the bigger brain

[Cross-posted from NeuroDojo]



How does one species get a bigger brain than another?



A while ago, I wrote about a paper that argued that genes that define boundaries in the nervous system seemed to be responsible for differing brain structures in cichlid fish. This seemed to explain the data better than a… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on June 26, 2010 at 2:34am — 1 Comment

ICN9 abstract deadline extended

The deadline for abstract submission to the ninth International Congress for Neuroethology in Spain has been extended to 15 June.

http://www.seatra.org/neuroethology

Added by Zen Faulkes on June 9, 2010 at 2:49am — No Comments

ICN9 abstracts due

9th International Congress of Neuroethology abstracts are due today (1 June 2010)! Please use #ICN9 for congress-related tweets.

http://bit.ly/dxv0IT

Added by Zen Faulkes on June 2, 2010 at 3:20am — No Comments

Genes controlling diversity of cichlid brains

[Crossposted from NeuroDojo]



Walter Garstang famously said that ontogeny creates phylogeny: you need to understand the development of a structure to understand the diversity of that structure across species.



There are a few different ways to change the way a structure is put together. Research on the development of limbs has tended to view morphological changes as being caused by… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on June 1, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

A long way to go and a small brain to get there

[Crossposted from NeuroDojo]



For many birds, migration is a major component of life. You'd expect think that migration would have a whole cascade of effects on those birds, including the nervous system. But which way?



On the one hand, migration might be correlated with large brains to handle the the complex navigation tasks. On the other hand, migration might be correlated with… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on March 28, 2010 at 11:01am — No Comments

Rattling neuroethology's windows

[Crossposting from NeuroDojo. Deep breath.]



As I’ve written recently, I don’t feel all that at home and comfortable in the field of neuroscience. I feel much more at home in the discipline of neuroethology, which investigates the neural bases of naturally occurring animal behaviour. It is populated by people who still appreciate… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on March 11, 2010 at 4:12am — 1 Comment

Can jellyfish see colour?

[Crossposted from NeuroDojo]



“Jellyfish? See colours? That’s crazy talk! They’d need eyes to do that! They don’t even have brains, do they?”



Some jellyfish do have eyes to go along with their well-developed central nervous system. These are box jellies, which are generally better known because… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on March 6, 2010 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Invertebrate electroreception

(Crossposted from NeuroDojo and Marmorkrebs.)



The sensory abilities of vertebrates and invertebrates are generally more similar than they are different: both groups can detect light, sound, pressure, and so on. One of the few cases of a sensory ability that seemed to be the domain of vertebrates alone was the ability to detect electrical signals: electroreception.… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on February 5, 2010 at 3:44am — No Comments

Some do, some don’t: Pufferfish escape and Mauthner neurons

[Reposted from NeuroDojo]



You would think that having a dedicated set of neurons that triggered super-fast escape responses to get away from fast predator attacks and other sudden events in your area would be something that you’d want to keep around. This is usually so, but it turns out, not always. This is a problem I’ve been struggling with for… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on February 4, 2010 at 6:40am — No Comments

Open Lab 2009: Nominations close 1 December 2009

Probably many of you know about the Open Lab anthology of the best science writing on blogs. Even if you know about the anthology, you may have forgotten that the annual submission deadline is looming large: 1 December 2009 is your last chance to nominate posts.



If you'd like to know more, head… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on November 18, 2009 at 3:54am — No Comments

The small brain of the biggest fish in the world

[Reposted from NeuroDojo.]



“We’re going to have some problems getting this under the microscope...”



There are just times you’d like to be a fly on the wall when certain science projects are being planned. I can’t quite imagine the conversations that led up to this paper. “Let’s look at the brain of the biggest fish in the world.” (I suppose the fish start small and… Continue

Added by Zen Faulkes on November 9, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

Brain Paperweights or Other Objects

In case anyone else is interested (or as geeky as I am). Here is a very simple protocol for making a paperweight (etc) with an extra brain that is not going to be used for research. I will upload some pictures so that you can see what they look like when they are finished.



Materials: brain, 100% ethanol, clear casting resin and hardener (available at most hardware stores), mold (can be any shape you like or you could make your own – I used plastic rectangular molds used for… Continue

Added by Adam K Dewan on November 8, 2009 at 8:12am — 2 Comments

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