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Impact of daf-25 and daf-11 Mutations on Olfactory Function in C. elegans

Gardner et al. | Feb 02, 2019

Impact of daf-25 and daf-11 Mutations on Olfactory Function in C. elegans

Cilia are little hair-like protrusions on many cells in the human body, including those lining the trachea where they play a role in clearing our respiratory tract of mucous and other irritants. Genetic mutations that impair ciliary function have serious consequences on our well-being making it important to understand how ciliary function is regulated. By using a simple organism, such as the worm C. elegans that use cilia to move, the authors explore the effect of certain genetic mutations on the cilia of the worms by measuring their ability to move towards or away from certain odorants.

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POC-MON: A Novel and Cost-Effective Pocket Lemon Sniff Test (PLST) for Early Detection of Major Depressive Disorder

Cruz et al. | Jul 07, 2020

POC-MON: A Novel and Cost-Effective Pocket Lemon Sniff Test (PLST) for Early Detection of Major Depressive Disorder

Effective treatment of depression requires early detection. Depressive symptoms overlap with olfactory regions, which led to several studies of the correlation between sense of smell and depression. The alarming rise of depression, its related crimes, suicides, and lack of inexpensive, quick tools in detecting early depression — this study aims in demonstrating decreased olfaction and depression correlation. Forty-two subjects (ages 13-83) underwent POC-MON (Pocket Lemon) assessment — an oven-dried lemon peel sniff test, subjected to distance measurement when odor first detected (threshold) and completed Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-9). POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores yielded a correlation of 20% and 18% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Among male (n=17) subjects, the average distance of POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores produced a correlation of 14% and 16% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Females (n=25) demonstrated a correlation of 28% and 21% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. These results suggest the correlation between olfaction and depression in diagnosing its early-stage, using a quick, inexpensive, and patient-friendly tool — POC-MON.

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Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A D. melanogaster Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Sanyal et al. | Oct 01, 2019

Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A <em>D. melanogaster</em> Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves the reduction of cholinergic activity due to a decrease in neuronal levels of nAChR α7. In this work, Sanyal and Cuellar-Ortiz explore the role of the nAChR α7 in learning and memory retention, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The performance of mutant flies (PΔEY6) was analyzed in locomotive and olfactory-memory retention tests in comparison to wild type (WT) flies and an Alzheimer's disease model Arc-42 (Aβ-42). Their results suggest that the lack of the D. melanogaster-nAChR causes learning, memory, and locomotion impairments, similar to those observed in Alzheimer's models Arc-42.

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Cathodal Galvanotaxis: The Effect of Voltage on the distribution of Tetrahymena pyriformis

Zheng et al. | Jun 10, 2019

Cathodal Galvanotaxis: The Effect of Voltage on the distribution of <em>Tetrahymena pyriformis</em>

The surface of the unicellular eukaryote, Tetrahymena pyriformis, is covered with thousands of hair-like cilia. These cilia are very similar to cilia of the human olfactory and respiratory tracts making them model organisms for studying cilia function and pathology. The authors of this study investigated the effect of voltage on T. pyriformis galvanotaxis, the movement towards an electrical stimulus. They observed galvanotaxis towards the cathode at voltages over 4V which plateau, indicating opening of voltage gated-ion channels to trigger movement.

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Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Mishra et al. | Sep 14, 2019

Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and is characterized by neurodegeneration. Mishra et al. wanted to understand the role of two transport proteins, LRP1 and AQP4, in the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease. They used a model organism for Alzheimer's disease, the nematode C. elegans, and genetic engineering to look at whether they would see a decrease in neurodegeneration if they increased the amount of these two transport proteins. They found that the best improvements were caused by increased expression of both transport proteins, with smaller improvements when just one of the proteins is overly expressed. Their work has important implications for how we understand neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and what we can do to slow or prevent the progression of the disease.

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