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  • In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral action | Newswire
    of Neurophysiology and Behavior If the female passes the test the male starts trotting after her with one wing off to his side and by vibrating the wing he sings her a courtship song Soon after if the object of his serenade allows it he mounts her to couple Earlier research has shown that a type of brain cell called a P1 neuron plays an important role in the male fly s courtship decision Until now however scientists knew little about how this cell population receives different types of sensory information and integrates it to produce a behavioral switch In their current study the researchers show that P1 neurons receive input from at least three other nerve cell groups that transmit different and sometimes contradictory inputs On the one hand if the male tastes certain pheromones on the female his arousal is triggered On the other hand he may simultaneously receive off putting odor or taste signals from the female if she has mated before or belongs to a different species or even if it turns out that the alleged female in fact is a male which can happen The beautiful thing about this system is that P1 neurons integrate all this different information both taste and smell Ruta says Some information is exciting some is suppressing and his brain can combine it to form a behavioral choice In one set of experiments the researchers introduced male Drosophila to different potential partners and monitored the activation of their P1 neurons under the microscope We brought in appropriate females as well as ones that had mated before other males and females of different Drosophila subspecies says the study s first author Josie Clowney a postdoc in the lab He will only court virgin females of his own species and it s

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2015/08/13/in-exploring-a-flys-choice-of-a-mate-researchers-track-the-neural-circuits-that-bridge-sensory-perception-and-behavioral-action/ (2016-02-13)
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  • courtship circuit | Newswire
    travel from a male fruit fly s sense organs and into his higher brain areas as he assesses a potential mating partner The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions More Tags courtship circuit Drosophila melanogaster Josie Clowney Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior neurosciences and behavior P1 neuron Vanessa Ruta Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News Grants

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/courtship-circuit/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior | Newswire
    smell signals travel from a male fruit fly s sense organs and into his higher brain areas as he assesses a potential mating partner The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions More Tags courtship circuit Drosophila melanogaster Josie Clowney Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior neurosciences and behavior P1 neuron Vanessa Ruta Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/laboratory-of-neurophysiology-and-behavior/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Vanessa Ruta | Newswire
    Neurophysiology and Behavior neurosciences and behavior P1 neuron Vanessa Ruta February 22 2013 Awards and Honors Vanessa Ruta awarded Sloan Research Fellowship Ruta head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior is being recognized for her promise as a scientific leader and will receive a 50 000 prize to further her research on how neural circuits are modified by experience More Tags Sloan Vanessa Ruta June 29 2011 Campus News

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/vanessa-ruta/ (2016-02-13)
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  • New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malaria | Newswire
    Nussenzweig s lab The body needs this enzyme in order to produce potent antibodies to fight malaria But in the process the enzyme can cause substantial collateral damage to the cells that produce it and that can lead to lymphoma he adds In the study the researchers infected mice with a form of the parasite that causes malaria Plasmodium chabaudi They immediately saw that the mice experienced a huge increase in germinal center GC B lymphocytes the activated form of the white blood cells that can give rise to Burkitt s lymphoma In malaria infected mice these cells divide very rapidly over the course of months Robbiani says As these cells rapidly proliferate they also express high levels of an enzyme known as activation induced cytidine deaminase AID which induces mutations in their DNA As a result these cells can diversify to generate a wide range of antibodies an essential step in fighting off various infections But in addition to beneficial mutations in antibody genes says Robbiani AID can cause off target damage and shuffling of cancer causing genes In mice infected with the malaria parasite these so called chromosomal rearrangements occur very frequently in GC lymphocytes Robbiani says and at least some of the changes are due to AID Next the researchers bred mice lacking the p53 gene which is known to protect cells from many types of cancer including Burkitt s lymphoma In analyzing mice that expressed AID but not p53 they found that every single one developed lymphoma And when these mice were infected with the malaria parasite they developed lymphomas specifically in mature B cells similarly to what happens in Burkitt s lymphoma This finding sheds new light on a long standing mystery of why two seemingly different diseases are associated with each other Robbiani says

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2015/08/13/new-research-helps-explain-why-a-deadly-blood-cancer-often-affects-children-with-malaria/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathway | Newswire
    says senior author Agata Smogorzewska associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Genome Maintenance Our investigation led us to discover a defective RAD51 protein in one patient and a similarly dysfunctional protein UBE2T in the other The genes that code for RAD51 and UBE2T along with many other genes linked to Fanconi anemia in previous studies contribute to a repair process known as interstrand crosslink repair which fixes a misplaced attachment between two strands of DNA Caused by chemical agents including often used chemotherapies like cisplatin chemicals called aldehydes that occur naturally within cells and nitrous acid formed after eating nitrates ICLs block the replication of DNA making it impossible for cells to accurately copy their genomes as they divide The ICL repair process is very sophisticated and uses multiple enzymes that cut away the connection between the DNA strands freeing them up and allowing the cells to grow The genome is at constant risk of forming ICLs and defects in the ICL repair pathway can produce a constellation of symptoms associated with Fanconi anemia a predisposition to cancer failure of the stem cells in bone marrow responsible for producing blood cells infertility as well as developmental defects In the RAD51 research supported by the Starr Cancer Consortium first author Anderson Wang a postdoctoral fellow in the Smogorzewska laboratory and his colleagues set out to determine the cause of the Fanconi anemia like symptoms of a girl in the university s International Fanconi Anemia Registry When they sequenced the protein coding genes in her genome they found mutations in one of two copies of the gene for the protein RAD51 a surprising culprit This protein was already known to be important for another DNA repair process called homologous recombination in which a missing section of DNA is replaced using its sister strand as a template Homologous recombination is thought to be used during the last step of ICL repair after the crosslink has been cut But because only one copy of the RAD51 gene was partially defective her cells could still perform homologous recombination but not ICL repair If both copies of RAD51 which is essential for life had been defective the girl would never have been born To show that the defective copy of the RAD51 gene was indeed responsible for her symptoms the researchers genetically engineered the patient s own cells to remove the defect which restored their ability to fix ICLs Further experiments on the patient s cells including biochemical work conducted by coauthor Stephen Kowalczykowski s lab at the University of California Davis lead the researchers to suspect that RAD51 plays a role outside of homologous recombination by tamping down the activity of two enzymes that degrade the DNA at the ICL When RAD51 is defective these enzymes DNA2 and WRN become overly destructive In the UBE2T study published July 7 in Cell Reports the team including first author Kimberly Rickman a biomedical fellow in Smogorzewska s lab found that mutations in a gene for

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2015/08/07/mutations-linked-to-genetic-disorders-shed-light-on-a-crucial-dna-repair-pathway/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Fanconi anemia | Newswire
    s ability to remove misplaced links between DNA strands and as a result cause a rare genetic disorder known as Fanconi anemia These discoveries offer new insight on a repair process critical to maintaining certain tissues and preventing cancer More Tags Agata Smogorzewska cell division DNA repair Fanconi anemia interstrand crosslinks Laboratory of Genome Maintenance RAD51 UBE2T Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News Grants Gifts Topics

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/fanconi-anemia/ (2016-02-13)
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  • RAD51 | Newswire
    ability to remove misplaced links between DNA strands and as a result cause a rare genetic disorder known as Fanconi anemia These discoveries offer new insight on a repair process critical to maintaining certain tissues and preventing cancer More Tags Agata Smogorzewska cell division DNA repair Fanconi anemia interstrand crosslinks Laboratory of Genome Maintenance RAD51 UBE2T Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News Grants Gifts Topics Video

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/rad51/ (2016-02-13)
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