Although the motivation behind mate-seeking behaviors has long been fodder for popular literature, little is known of these complex drives at the most basic level. In this week's The Journal, Lipton et al. delve into this behavior in worms using measures we can all understand, food and companionship. Sexually mature males when left alone on a food source (a nice plate of E. coli if you're interested) wandered off, presumably in search of a mate. When a potential mate was present on the food source, though, they remained.
2. Wiring in a Cone-Only Retina: Recruitment of the Rod Pathway by Cones in the Absence of Rods Enrica Strettoi, Alan J. Mears, and Anand Swaroop
In the retina, rods and cones form a distinct wiring diagram with specific second- and third-order neurons. Although the pathways eventually overlap at the ganglion cell layer, they are segregated at their initial inputs into rod- and cone-specific bipolar cells. But what happens when rods, normally constituting >90% of photoreceptors, do not form and thus all photoreceptors are cones? Amazingly the morphology, connectivity and transmission of rod bipolar neurons as well as horizontal and AII amacrine cells that normally receive rod input appeared to be neatly maintained when rods were replaced with cones. The cone-only retinas were also light-sensitive.