For most people, just a whiff of food that has made them sick in the past is enough to trigger a wave of nausea – and to prevent them from eating that food again. Its a response thats instantaneous, involuntary, and so fundamental to basic biology that it occurs in a broad range of species. Even worms, researchers have now shown, quickly learn to avoid smells associated with foods that have made them ill.
The new study, led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Cornelia I. Bargmann and Yun Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in Bargmanns laboratory at The Rockefeller University, represents a clear capacity for learning in the laboratory animal C. elegans, a microscopic worm with only 302 neurons. The work suggests that the cellular mechanisms underlying this type of learning have been maintained through evolution, and opens the way for more in depth studies of how learning occurs. The study will be published in the November 10, 2005, issue of the journal Nature.
One of C. elegans fundamental behaviors is movement toward food based on its sense of smell. In the laboratory, this often means wriggling across a plate full of agar toward a cluster of E. coli. But in its natural environment, the soil, C. elegans encounters an astounding variety of bacteria. As it writhes through its world, the worm might meet up with hundreds of different species of bacteria in as little as five minutes. But while some bacteria make ideal worm food, others are toxic.
Jennifer Michalowski | EurekAlert!
Loss of identity in immune cells explained
18.02.2019 | Technische Universität München
Progress in the treatment of aggressive brain tumors
18.02.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...
Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.
DNA is not only a popular research topic because it contains the blueprint for life – it can also be used to produce tiny components for technical applications.
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