Navigation Links
Dine or dash? Genes help decide when to look for new food
Date:3/16/2011

For worms, choosing when to search for a new dinner spot depends on many factors, both internal and external: how hungry they are, for example, how much oxygen is in the air, and how many other worms are around. A new study demonstrates this all-important decision is also influenced by the worm's genetic make-up.

In the simple Caenorhabditis elegans nematode, the researchers found that natural variations in several genes influence how quickly a worm will leave a lawn of bacteria on which it's feeding. One of the genes, called tyra-3, produces a receptor activated by adrenalinea chemical messenger involved in the 'fight-or-flight' response. The findings appeared online March 16, 2011, in the journal Nature.

"What's encouraging to us about this story is that molecules related to adrenaline are implicated in arousal systems and in decision-making across a lot of different animals, including humans," says Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Cornelia Bargmann of Rockefeller University in New York, who mentored the work of graduate student Andres Bendesky. These parallels between diverse species suggest that aspects of our decision-making abilities have ancient evolutionary roots.

Six worms on a small lawn of bacterial food (circle). Occasionally, a worm leaves the food to explore the surrounding environment. Video: Bendesky et al. Nature

C. elegans thrive in agricultural settings, such as orchards and crop lands, feeding on bacteria from rotting fruits and vegetables. But eating in this environment is tricky: the worms encounter many bacterial species that are difficult to digest or even toxic. "The worms need to somehow evaluate a whole spectrum of conditions to decide whether they want to try this food source or go out and look for a better one," Bargmann says.

The great scientific advantage of using C. elegans to study complicated behavioral processes such as decision-making is that the w
'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Study shows how plants sort and eliminate genes over millennia
2. An Israel prize in his genes
3. Suggesting genes friends, Facebook-style
4. David and Goliath viruses shed light on the origin of jumping genes: UBC study
5. Better brain wiring linked to family genes
6. University of Maryland School of Medicine study identifies genes associated with binge drinking
7. U. Iowa team investigates function of junk DNA in human genes
8. Just like cars, developmental genes have more than 1 way to stop
9. Good diets fight bad Alzheimers genes
10. Partnership of genes affects the brains development
11. The most genes in an animal? Tiny crustacean holds the record
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/22/2014)... September 23, 2014 A new American Cancer ... Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the ... compared with income eligible non-participants. The authors say ... aimed at enhancing the dietary quality of SNAP ... low-income individuals and households with the resources to ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... HOUSTON (Sept. 22, 2014) As genetic sequencing ... care, there is a critical need to establish appropriate ... and ethical experts have said. A special policy issue ... published online today and edited by experts with ... Baylor College of Medicine gives policy makers the tools ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... that manufacture their own "antifreeze" proteins to survive ... unfortunate side effect, researchers report: The protein-bound ice ... even when temperatures warm. , The finding ... National Academy of Sciences . , "We discovered ... the evolution of antifreeze proteins in Antarctic notothenioid ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Federal food program puts food on the table, but dietary quality could be improved 2Experts provide much-needed policy analysis for clinical integration of next generation sequencing 2Experts provide much-needed policy analysis for clinical integration of next generation sequencing 3Study: Antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fishes prevent freezingand melting 2Study: Antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fishes prevent freezingand melting 3
... cells, which produce electrical signals in response to vibrations within ... or trauma-related hearing loss. One way to do this could ... to grow. Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine ... cochleae of young mice can induce the formation of extra ...
... University Press (BNUP) will co-publish a new book series ... first seven titles of this series were signed by ... Yang, CEO of BNUP, at this year,s London Book ... supported by both Chinese and international funding, in large ...
... , Using the latest satellite tracking technology, conservationists from the ... Government of Mexico have completed a ground-breaking study on a ... team has produced the first published study on the use ... world,s largest ray, which can grow up to 25 feet ...
Cached Biology News:Gene therapy for hearing loss: Potential and limitations 2Springer and the Beijing Normal University Press sign agreement on new book series 2First satellite tag study for manta rays reveals habits and hidden journeys of ocean giants 2
(Date:9/23/2014)... September 23, 2014 This is ... Global and China Isopropanol (IPA) industry. The report ... definitions, applications and industry chain structure. Global market ... with a focus on history, developments, trends and ... the international and Chinese situation is also offered. ...
(Date:9/23/2014)... York , September 23, 2014 ... leading provider of  Closed System Transfer     Devices ... exclusive partnership with Taiwanese distributor MedFront Medical Technology Corporation.  Equashield,s ... in Taiwan , ... as the company continues to expand globally, and ...
(Date:9/23/2014)... (PRWEB) September 23, 2014 Dr. Williams ... third book on healthcare offers a three phase process ... century healthcare delivery system that would go far beyond ... responsibility regarding the delivery of healthcare.” , “Every effort ... has failed to provide discernable progress throughout that system ...
(Date:9/23/2014)... 2014 New spin-out from ... Cambridge Innovation Capital and Johnson & Johnson Development ... company focused on harnessing the potential of circulating ... and treatment, today announced it has raised £4m ... and including Cambridge Innovation Capital and Johnson & ...
Breaking Biology Technology:(IPA) Isopropanol Industry International & China Development Trend Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 2(IPA) Isopropanol Industry International & China Development Trend Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 3Equashield Enters Taiwan Following Expansion to Australia, Japan, China 2Dr. Ira Williams Offers the Healthcare Solution Necessary for Patient Safety Improvement 2Inivata Raises £4m to Realise the Potential of ctDNA Analysis to Improve Cancer Treatment Through Simple Blood Tests 2Inivata Raises £4m to Realise the Potential of ctDNA Analysis to Improve Cancer Treatment Through Simple Blood Tests 3Inivata Raises £4m to Realise the Potential of ctDNA Analysis to Improve Cancer Treatment Through Simple Blood Tests 4
... , a provider of single-molecule DNA analysis technology, announced Thursday ... type of brain tumor, known as oligodendroglioma. OpGen, based in ... and professor of genetics and chemistry at the University ... . , ,Optical mapping, invented by Schwartz, will enable researchers ...
... Roberts, former executive vice president of Oracle Corporation ... businesses can streamline operations using new technology and how ... speech was a part of Accelerate Madisons ... making businesses be more competitive and profitable. ...
... first thing to do when draining a swamp is to ... an information swamp. Information not only needs to be better ... as its passed within an organization. IT shops are skilled ... and even the old, back office systems running on mainframes. ...
Cached Biology Technology:OpGen joins UW, Henry Ford Heath in Improving Brain Tumor Treatment 2Former Oracle VP reveals thoughts on benefits of IT 2Draining the Information Swamp 2Draining the Information Swamp 3