Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Of Tiny Worms On Micro-Sized Chips Sheds Light On How Memories Are Formed In The Brain

Date:
May 16, 2006
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
Georgia Tech researchers are studying how sensory- and memory-related genes are expressed and regulated in tiny micro-sized worms by observing the worms' behavior on an equally micro-sized chip.

With glowing green neurons, Hang Lu is studying how sensory- and memory-related genes are expressed and regulated in tiny micro-sized worms (about 50 microns in diameter).
Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology

In an effort to create brain-inspired sensors and gain new insight into how memories are formed in the human brain, Hang Lu, an assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a researcher with the Center for Biologically Inspired Design and Engineering (CBID) at Georgia Tech, is studying how sensory- and memory-related genes are expressed and regulated in tiny micro-sized worms by observing the worms’ behavior on an equally micro-sized chip.

Related Articles


“Nature has evolved a very efficient sensing system for the worms. The worms are very good at finding mates, finding food, avoiding predators and finding a good home. We’re hoping we can learn a lot from this highly evolved sensing system,” Lu said.

The key is deciphering how the very small worms (about 50 microns in diameter, much smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and with only 302 neurons altogether) integrate their keen sensory information about their environment into their brain. A certain stimulus, such as the presence of undesirable bacterial food, triggers changes in sensory neurons that stimulate other neurons to give rise to an avoidance behavior, and can also create a memory imprint in the worm’s brain.

In order to figure out which neurons are activated for a particular behavior, Lu and her team use a laser beam to operate on worm neurons and then study the behavior after the lesion forms. A genetic technique is used to make certain neurons produce jellyfish’s green fluorescent protein, and the laser beam then targets the green neurons.

Since the worms and their neurons are so small, appropriate micro-sized devices have to be created to study them. By carefully controlling the types of stimuli the microscopic worms are exposed to via an intricate micro chip with stimulus delivery systems, Lu and her team can decipher what new sensory information is triggering which neurons that then produce proper behavior and form worm memory as a result.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Study Of Tiny Worms On Micro-Sized Chips Sheds Light On How Memories Are Formed In The Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060515231914.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2006, May 16). Study Of Tiny Worms On Micro-Sized Chips Sheds Light On How Memories Are Formed In The Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060515231914.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Study Of Tiny Worms On Micro-Sized Chips Sheds Light On How Memories Are Formed In The Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060515231914.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins