Math1 is a master hub for the genes that control various parts of neural networks for hearing, balance, the unconscious sense of one's position in space called proprioception and in a new finding, interoception, which is associated with activities such as awakening because of a full bladder or a distended colon, said Dr. Huda Zoghbi (http://www.bcm.edu/genetics/?pmid=11053), professor of molecular and human genetics, pediatrics, neurology and neuroscience at BCM and Dr. Matthew Rose (http://www.texaschildrens.org/web/tcnri/tcnri.html), an M.D./Ph.D. student in Zoghbi's laboratory.
"It surprises us," said Zoghbi, who is also director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Institute at Texas Children's Hospital (http://www.texaschildrens.org/web/tcnri/tcnri.html) and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "We knew Math1 was important for hearing and proprioception. Now we know this gene lays the foundation for knowing where you are with respect to the environment and how to move safely within it – automatically."
The findings demonstrate a genetic, developmental and functional link among the diverse sensory systems that govern conscious and unconscious proprioception, interoception, hearing, balance and arousal (as from sleep), said Dr. Kaashif Ahmad (http://www.neonate.net/education/fellows/currentfellows/index.cfm), a neonatology fellow at BCM and Texas Children's and a member of Zoghbi's laboratory.
Suppose you are walking in the forest and suddenly a predator is heading for you, Zoghbi said. The hearing and sound-localizing activities controlled by this gene allow you to localize the position of the predator and run quickly in the direction away from the predator.
Math1 is a key component of the system that gets you moving automatically in response to internal and external stimuli. In a recent study, the Zoghbi laboratory showed that Math1 also plays a key role in the circuitry of breathing.
"It is possible that some of the neurons that sense movement inside and outside the body are also stimulating the respiratory network of infants when they are born," said Rose.
Studying Math1 is exciting, he said, because many different types of neurons require the gene throughout the brainstem and then connect together in the same sensory networks.
"Math1 is necessary not only for neurons that sense a full bladder but also for those that wake you up and let you find your way to the bathroom in the dark," Rose said. "The key now will be to map out all these connections in greater detail."
Dr. Christina Thaller, associate professor of biochemistry at BCM, took part in this research.
Funding for this work came from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Baylor Intellectual and Developmental Disorders Research Center, the Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
For more information on basic science research at Baylor College of Medicine, please go to www.bcm.edu/fromthelab or www.bcm.edu/news.
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research