Using the zebrafish, a model organism widely used in genetic studies, researchers have found that when it comes to social interactions with other fish, individual zebrafish learn to prefer one fish color pattern over another according to their early experience with these patterns. The work extends the utility of zebrafish to studies of behavior and evolution and is reported by University of Texas researchers Raymond E. Engeszer, Dr. David M. Parichy, and Dr. Michael J. Ryan.
Social behavior has long been of interest to biologists and psychologists alike. The studies reported this week suggest that the extensive knowledge of zebrafish genetics will afford researchers an opportunity to see how genes, development, and environment lead to behaviors that mediate social interactions.
The investigators examined the way fish choose their consorts during the formation of loose social aggregates, called shoals, and they exploited the developmental genetic resources of this biomedical model organism to manipulate the appearance of the fish. Fish were chosen to have drastically different color patterns, either blue and gold stripes or an absence of stripes and a uniform mother-of-pearl color. This difference was the result of a single DNA base change in the fishs genome. To determine whether genes or the environment determine individuals preferences, the investigators raised subject fish either with other fish of their own color or with fish of the alternate color. When subject fish were later allowed to choose which color of fish to associate with, they greatly preferred whichever color pattern they had been raised with, irrespective of their own color. This learned social preference could have enormous impacts on the survival and reproductive success of individual fish. This work represents a first step in using the zebrafish and the tools of developmental genetics to investigate long-standing questions concerning the impact of behavior on evolution.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences