Mice exposed to scents of mint or fresh cut grass before and shortly after birth show increased responses in a specific population of odor-processing neurons to a variety of odors, according to new research published in eNeuro. The study demonstrates how early experience shapes the brain's processing of the sense of smell.
Nearly one out of every three humans on earth has a lifelong infection with the brain-dwelling parasite Toxoplasma gondii. In the Sept. 13 issue of Scientific Reports, researchers from multiple institutions describe efforts to learn how infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii may alter, and in some cases amplify, several brain disorders, including epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as some cancers.
A new study provides further evidence that a simple scratch-and-sniff test could predict Parkinson's disease even earlier than previously thought. According to Michigan State University researcher Honglei Chen, lead author and professor of epidemiology, the test could potentially identify certain people who are at an increased risk of developing the disease up to 10 years before they are actually diagnosed.
A simple scratch-and-sniff test may one day be able to help identify some people at greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease up to 10 years before the disease could be diagnosed, according to a new study published in the Sept. 6, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Culminating a series of studies stretching back eight years, UC San Diego biologists have identified the cellular and molecular basis for social preference, known in the animal kingdom as 'imprinting.' Through in vivo experiments, the researchers found the neurological roots of kinship attraction and aversion. They also employed genetics screening to find the regulators controlling this behavior. The study carries implications for understanding social attraction and aversion in a range of animals and humans.
Vinegar flies should normally try to avoid their sick conspecifics to prevent becoming infected themselves. Nevertheless they are irresistibly attracted to the smell given off by sick flies. A dramatic increase in the production of the sex pheromones responsible for the attractive odor of the infected flies is caused by pathogens: this perfidious strategy is used by the deadly germs to enable them to infect healthy flies and spread even further.
Scientists disrupted a gene essential for sensing pheromones, resulting in severe deficiencies in the ants' social behaviors and their ability to survive within a colony.
New research at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has revealed how special molecules help the tongue communicate with the brain to identify the correct taste. Using this knowledge, scientists were able rewire the taste-system of mice to perceive sweet stimuli as bitter tastes, and vice versa. The discovery provides new insights into how the tongue keeps its sense of taste organized despite the rapid turnover of the cells in its taste buds.
By creating mice with mixed-up taste sensors, HHMI Investigator Charles Zuker and colleagues show how the taste system continually remakes itself.
A significant technological advance from the Monell Center now allows scientists to identify the complete set of genes in any type of taste receptor cell. The technology provides taste researchers with a treasure trove of information that will help identify precisely how each type of taste receptor cell carries out its specific function.