Navigation Links
A young brain for an old bee

We are all familiar with the fact that cognitive function declines as we get older. Moreover, recent studies have shown that the specific kind of daily activities we engage in during the course of our lives appears to influence the extent of this decline. A team of researchers from Technische Universitt Berlin are studying how division of labour among honey bees affects their learning performance as they age. Surprisingly, they have found that, by switching their social role, aging honey bees can keep their learning ability intact or even improve it. The scientists are planning to use them as a model to study general aging processes in the brain, and they even hope that they may provide some clues on how to prevent them. Dr. Ricarda Scheiner, leader of the research team, will present these findings at the Society of Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday 1st July 2009.

The oldest bees in a colony are the foragers - a task that demands a high amount of energy. With increasing foraging duration, their capacity for associative learning was found to decrease. On the other hand, no decline was observed in nurse bees that remain inside the hive taking care of the brood and the queen, even though their age was the same as that of their foraging sisters. When the scientists artificially forced a subset of these foragers to revert to nursing tasks, they discovered that they learning performance improved again, demonstrating a remarkable plasticity in their brain circuits.

"The honey bee is a great model", explains Dr. Scheiner, "because we can learn a lot about social organisation from it and because it allows us to revert individuals into a 'younger' stage. If we remove all of the nurse bees of a colony, some of the foragers will revert to nursing behaviour and their brains become 'young' again. We thus hope to study the mechanisms responsible for age-dependent effects, like oxidative damage, and also to discover new ways to act against these aging processes."


Contact: Cristian C. A. Bodo
Society for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. Meth exposure in young adults leads to long-term behavioral consequences
2. Ancient whale fall from Californias Año Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
3. Ancient whale fall from Californias Ao Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
4. Youngstown, Ohio Police Award Mobile Data Contract to BIO-key(R) International
5. Tufts University biologists link Huntingtons disease to health benefits in young
6. Alcohol and sleep restriction can affect young mens alertness and driving performance
7. 18 young scientists join EMBO Young Investigator network
8. Yale chemist receives NIH Young Investigator Award for antibody targeting
9. 2007 Albert Maucher Prize for Outstanding Young Geoscientists
10. Eat chocolate, drink wine, add fun to life: SLU geriatrician shares secrets of staying young
11. New book defines promising young field of adult neurogenesis
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
A young brain for an old bee
(Date:11/18/2015)... -- As new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how ... face challenges in better using that knowledge to guide ... more children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric ... . --> John M. Maris, M.D ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant ... has joined its Board of Directors. ... Vigilant,s Board after recently retiring from the partnership at ... owning 107 companies with over $140 Billion in revenue.  ... performance improvement across all the TPG companies, from 1997 ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has entered ... MIT and Harvard for use of its ArxLab ... management tools. The partnership will support the institute,s ... and chemical research information internally and with external ... used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy ... Special Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the ... last few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 --> ... research report released by Transparency Market Research, the global ... a CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 ... - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends ... prenatal testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial processes, ... for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media is ... retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. They ...
Breaking Biology Technology: