Breaking News
June 22, 2018 - Study provides insights into how components of different cells in the brain are altered
June 22, 2018 - Research does not confirm antidiabetic action of natural fatty acid derivatives
June 22, 2018 - Oxidative stress can be used against tumors to treat cancer
June 22, 2018 - Simple, cost-effective test may help improve early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment
June 22, 2018 - New guide published to help battle fatal disease caused by kissing bugs
June 22, 2018 - Stigma Adds to Burden of Type 1 Diabetes
June 22, 2018 - In retinoblastoma survivors, oculo-visual issues tied to QoL
June 22, 2018 - Most adults with allergies do not use prescribed epinephrine even in emergency situations
June 22, 2018 - Study provides clues to how cancer cells develop resistance to chemotherapies
June 22, 2018 - New consensus paper serves as basis for uniform medical management of DSD
June 22, 2018 - Researchers work to identify areas of the brain that help us wake up
June 22, 2018 - Alcohol hangovers more significant and costly than people realize, shows research
June 22, 2018 - Targeting cells involved in blood vessel formation could hinder brain tumor growth
June 22, 2018 - Young cancer survivors need more support as they feel dissatisfied with their sexuality
June 22, 2018 - Unusual cell-to-cell communication in glioblastoma promotes aggressiveness and therapy resistance
June 22, 2018 - Turning A Phage – Drug Discovery Today
June 22, 2018 - World-first study links birth interventions and long-term childhood illness
June 22, 2018 - Improving the quality of biomedical research samples
June 22, 2018 - Researchers identify cerebral palsy using AI and DNA sequencing
June 22, 2018 - Administering nitric oxide gas after heart surgery may decrease risk of kidney problems
June 22, 2018 - Measuring levels of ethyl sulphate in hair can help assess alcohol consumption
June 22, 2018 - Researchers develop robot bloodhound that can rapidly detect odors on the ground
June 22, 2018 - AAA doses first patients in two clinical studies with PSMA-R2 for prostate cancer
June 22, 2018 - UC San Diego launches new bacteriophage therapy center
June 22, 2018 - New review outlines current state of sex-sensitive issues linked to heart failure drugs
June 22, 2018 - Pelvic pain a major issue for women nearing mid-life, research reveals
June 22, 2018 - Researchers develop reliable DNA barcodes for biomedical research
June 22, 2018 - New risk-prediction model may help identify diabetic patients at high risk of pancreatic cancer
June 22, 2018 - Study reveals how mTORC1-driven changes in crowding could influence major diseases
June 22, 2018 - Researchers uncover new therapeutic opportunity in the treatment of malignant melanoma
June 22, 2018 - UC Riverside researcher receives grants to advance cancer, ALS research
June 22, 2018 - Radiation therapy alone may be enough to treat older, sicker patients with anal cancers
June 22, 2018 - Technical report describes how to make accurate particle size measurements on carbon black samples
June 22, 2018 - Nocdurna (desmopressin acetate) Approved by FDA as First Sublingual Tablet to Treat Nocturia due to Nocturnal Polyuria
June 22, 2018 - Neuroscientists locate neurons in the brain that respond when a visual target is found
June 22, 2018 - First human Keystone virus infection reported
June 22, 2018 - New study reveals how ‘good’ bacteria help in regulating our metabolism
June 22, 2018 - Osteopathic manual therapy affecting the diaphragm improves chronic low back pain
June 22, 2018 - Researchers create revolutionary model to study pulmonary diseases
June 22, 2018 - Diagnosing Heart Disease Using AI
June 22, 2018 - Increasing biodefense risks posed by synthetic biology
June 22, 2018 - Many Women Report Vasomotor Symptoms in Their 60s
June 22, 2018 - Rare mutation of gene carried by Quebec family gives insight into how the brain is wired
June 22, 2018 - Chemists find new way to make enzymes do a non-natural reaction
June 22, 2018 - Summer is good time to check for signs of skin cancer
June 22, 2018 - Innovative method can help identify patients with spastic cerebral palsy
June 22, 2018 - Exercise alters characteristics of blood to reduce inflammation in obese people
June 22, 2018 - Researchers examine complications across different types of breast reconstructive surgeries
June 22, 2018 - Rhesus macaque model could be useful to test therapies for congenital Zika virus syndrome
June 22, 2018 - AHA: New Insights Into Sickle Cell and Stroke Risk
June 22, 2018 - Doctors prescribe opioids at high rates to those at increased overdose risk
June 22, 2018 - Reduction in US cigarette smoking rates
June 22, 2018 - Preconception binge drinking may have negative effect on future offspring
June 22, 2018 - FDA expands approval of novel diabetes management device to include younger pediatric patients
June 22, 2018 - Researchers confirm weight loss benefits of the 16:8 diet
June 22, 2018 - FDA approves Eversense CGM system for use in adults with diabetes
June 22, 2018 - State opioid monitoring programs are not created equal
June 22, 2018 - Autistic teens who are bullied have higher rates of depression
June 22, 2018 - Penn Medicine team launches universal stroke awareness program
June 22, 2018 - Scientists discover the molecular trigger of necroptosis
June 22, 2018 - Researchers report unusually high levels of herpesvirus in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease
June 22, 2018 - Theoretical models predict how juveniles evolve to be more susceptible than adults to infection
June 22, 2018 - USC study reveals how the cell launches emergency response to repair damaged DNA
June 22, 2018 - $1.9 million grant aims to enhance behavioral health services in community-based settings
June 22, 2018 - New 3D imaging technique could improve arthritis treatment
June 22, 2018 - Cytokinetics Announces Data From Phase 2 Clinical Study of Reldesemtiv in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy
June 22, 2018 - Polarized cells give the heart its fully developed form
June 21, 2018 - Stem cells appear to help fight obesity in animal models
June 21, 2018 - Harnessing Pediatric Cancer Genomic Data in the Cloud
June 21, 2018 - Training nursing students with cost-effective 3D-printed task trainers
June 21, 2018 - Study provides insight into how planned and spontaneous movements are processed in the brain
June 21, 2018 - Suicide Prevention | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
June 21, 2018 - From designer microbes to stem cells, researchers are investigating new strategies to treat bowel disease
June 21, 2018 - Study suggests state-of-the-art genomic testing for routine autopsy of stillbirths
June 21, 2018 - Christiana Care Health System opens first Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in Delaware
June 21, 2018 - CDC: Obesity Prevalence Higher in Non-Metropolitan Counties
June 21, 2018 - Youths Treated for Non-Suicidal Self Harm at Increased Risk of Suicide Within a Year
June 21, 2018 - WVU researchers increase colorectal cancer screening rates in West Virginia
June 21, 2018 - Pediatric kidney recipients often have subclinical inflammation
June 21, 2018 - OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director wins 2018 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science
Study sheds light on biology that guides behavior across different stages of life

Study sheds light on biology that guides behavior across different stages of life

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Put 50 newborn worms in 50 separate containers, and they’ll all start looking for food at roughly the same time. Like members of other species, microscopic C. elegans roundworms tend to act like other individuals their own age.

It turns out that the innate system that controls age-appropriate behavior in a developing worm is not entirely dependable, however. Despite sharing identical genes and growing up in similar environments, some individual worms will inevitably march to the beat of their own drum.

New research from Rockefeller University illuminates the biology that guides behavior across different stages of life, and also suggests how variations in specific neuromodulators in the developing nervous system may lead to occasional variations. The work, led by Cori Bargmann, is made possible by a newly engineered system that allows scientists to record behavioral information for individual worms over an entire lifecycle. It is published in Cell.

“There are patterns at every stage of life that are different from the patterns at other stages, and with the system we created we can see that really clearly in ways that are surprisingly complex and robust,” says Bargmann, who is the Torsten I. Wiesel Professor and head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior. “We can also observe something as complex as individuality and start to break down the biology behind it.”

Chemical conformity

Our understanding of how genes govern behavior comes largely from experiments that involve altering a subject’s normal state with external stimuli over a short period of time, such as giving a mouse some cheese as a reward for completing a maze. We know less about how genes affect behavior as animals go about their normal routines.

Shay Stern, a postdoctoral associate in Bargmann’s laboratory, engineered a system to capture spontaneous, internally-generated behavior in worms over the span of their entire development, which totals about 50 hours. The scientists focused on foraging behavior–the worms’ roaming movements in search for food–and found incredibly similar patterns of activity between individuals.

“Even though the worms were separated and not receiving external cues, they were actively searching for food at the same time point in development as other worms,” says Stern. “And we saw very precise differences in foraging behavior at each stage of development.”

By creating genetic mutations in some worms, the researchers were also able to identify specific neuromodulators, or chemical messengers in the brain, that normally keep the animals on schedule. A mutation that disrupted the chemical messenger dopamine, for example, affected the worms’ roaming speed during late development. Other mutations affected behavioral patterns within each developmental stage, suggesting that different neuromodulators influence behavior over different timescales.

Born this way

While the majority of worms conformed to the same behavioral patterns, a number of individual worms stood out for their atypical foraging behaviors. Variability between individuals is typically attributed to genetic differences or exposure to different environments, but the researchers designed this study to account for these differences, using genetically identical worms in identical environments.

One explanation for these individual variations could be small differences in how the nervous system develops. There is a randomness factor in how some neurons connect with each other that isn’t controlled by genetics, notes Bargmann.

But Bargmann and colleagues showed that neuromodulators can also contribute. The researchers found that removing the chemical messenger serotonin from a population of worms drastically reduced the number of worms that displayed unique roaming patterns, or individuality. Indeed, without serotonin, all of the worms exhibited the same foraging behavior at the same time–a finding that suggests how important individuality is to survival.

“From an evolutionary point of view, we can’t have everyone going off the cliff all at once like lemmings–someone’s got to be doing something different for a species to survive,” says Bargmann.

Source:

https://www.rockefeller.edu/news/21376-scientists-shed-light-biological-roots-individuality/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles