Navigation Links
Study of dragonfly prey detection at MBL wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize
Date:3/14/2013

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MASS.Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido, a postdoctoral scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and her colleagues have been awarded a 2012 Cozzarelli Prize by the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Gonzalez-Bellido and colleagues were honored for the "scientific excellence and originality" of their study of prey detection and interception in dragonflies, which won in the category of "Biological Sciences." Out of more than 3,700 papers published in the journal last year, the editors selected Gonzalez-Bellido's paper and five others for the Cozzarelli Prize.

The Gonzalez-Bellido paper provides insight into basic visual-motor neural processing, and has implications for the development of "bioinspired" prosthetics for humans.

"I am honored to receive recognition for this work, for which we bridged the clinical and neuroethological fields, and developed new techniques," says Gonzalez-Bellido. "This award has provided me with fuel to keep up the hard work and further my research plans."

In order for a dragonfly to intercept its prey in midair (which dragonflies do with a 95% success rate), it needs to quickly track the prey and predict its future location. To understand how they undertake this complex task, Gonzalez-Bellido and her co-authors studied a small group of 16 motor neurons, called target-selective descending neurons (TSDNs), in the dragonfly Libellula luctuosa. These neurons, originally discovered by co-author Robert M. Olberg in the green darner dragonfly, originate in the brain and extend to the thoracic ganglia, where the neural signal is interpreted and translated into wing muscle movements. Surprisingly, the scientists found that this small group of neurons can detect the direction of target prey with high accuracy and reliability across 360 degrees, and that this information is relayed from the brain to the wing motor centers in population vector form.

In 1988, co-author Apostolos Georgopoulos and his colleagues showed in monkeys that from the activity of neurons in the motor cortex, the population vector algorithm can predict the monkey's upcoming arm movement. However, to achieve a more accurate prediction with this algorithm, upwards of 200 neurons were needed. Thus, the present discovery that a highly accurate neural code carrying information about target direction can be achieved with just 16 neurons is enlightening, and could have applications in the development of bioinspired robots. (Georgopolos is an MD-PhD at the University of Minnesota/Veterans Administration Medical Center who is interested in the development of prosthetics.)

Randy Schekman, PhD, editor-in-chief of PNAS, describes the papers chosen for the Cozzarelli Prize as being "of exceptional interest These papers are not merely technically superior but have had special impact and maybe novel techniques or novel applications of techniques, or very important discoveries."

To measure the voltage change in the dragonfly neurons, Gonzalez-Bellido used a classical technique called intracellular recording, which was originally developed by Kenneth S. (Kacy) Cole at the MBL and others. This technique, she says, provided very clear, high-quality data in the dragonfly, which she sees as a promising model for understanding the evolution of neural systems. "It's exciting that the same computation [the population vector algorithm] is used by monkeys and dragonflies for this task. Dragonflies belong to the most ancient groups of flying insects on earth, and they have changed little in 250 million years" she says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows how vitamin E can help prevent cancer
2. Autism Speaks trailblazer study -- Blocking cell distress signals can ease autism symptoms
3. Clot Buster Safe for Stroke Patients on Blood Thinners: Study
4. Study: Dynamic new software improves care of aging brain
5. Breast Cancer Radiation Has Long-Term Heart Effects: Study
6. Gene Therapy Helped Mice Withstand Arthritis: Study
7. Bel Marra Health Reports on a New Study: Female Obesity Could Be Due to Less Participation in Household Tasks
8. Study: Steroid Abuse in Teens is Increasing; polyDNA Recommends Muxscle for Safe Muscle Building
9. Study: Catheter-based varicose vein treatments more cost-effective
10. Relatives Who Witness Loved Ones CPR Fare Better: Study
11. Spine MRIs Often Show Harmless Defects, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study of dragonfly prey detection at MBL wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions ... aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: ... The closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son ... lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t ... would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pa. , June 23, 2016 Bracket ... will launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA ... Meeting held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... the first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind ... Booth #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the ... announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the ... diabetes stand in the way of academic and community ... Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: