Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding ourselves by studying animal kingdom

Date:
November 11, 2013
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Research reveals a new model for a genetic eye disease, and shows how animal models -- from fruit flies to armadillos and monkeys -- can yield valuable information about the human brain.

Research released today reveals a new model for a genetic eye disease, and shows how animal models -- from fruit flies to armadillos and monkeys -- can yield valuable information about the human brain. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Animal models have long been central in how we understand the human brain, behavior, and nervous system due to similarities in many brain areas and functions across species. Almost every major medical advance in the last century was made possible by carefully regulated, humane animal research. Today's findings build on this rich history and demonstrate what animals can teach us about ourselves.

Today's new findings show that:

  • The nine-banded armadillo may serve as a model for certain types of progressive blindness. The animal's poor eyesight mimics many human disorders and may shed light on new treatment approaches for such diseases
  • Analysis of a baboon population reveals particular genes that may be involved in creating the "folds" in the structure of the brain. These findings provide information on how human genes may have evolved to create the brain's shape and function
  • Monkeys and humans use similar brain pathways while processing decisions. Detailed analyses of similarities and differences in brain wiring could provide new insights into decision-making in humans

Other recent findings discussed show that:

  • Use of powerful genetic tools in fruit flies is helping to reveal the basic building blocks of brain circuitry and function. This work is furthering our understanding of the human brain and may be helpful in developing medical diagnostic devices
  • Research in a tiny worm (C. elegans) has allowed scientists to map all of the connections between neurons in the species, including the pathways for movement, sex, and more. The findings offer new insights into how the human nervous system functions

"Neuroscience has always relied on responsible animal research to better understand how our brains and bodies develop, function, and break down," said press conference moderator Leslie Tolbert, of the University of Arizona, whose work in insects provides insights into brain development. "Today's studies reveal new ways that research on unlikely-seeming animals, such as armadillos, fruit flies, and worms, could have real impact on our understanding of the human brain and what can go wrong in disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Understanding ourselves by studying animal kingdom." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111185508.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2013, November 11). Understanding ourselves by studying animal kingdom. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111185508.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Understanding ourselves by studying animal kingdom." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111185508.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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