And now 3 more highlights from day 2 of SfN:
|a bird and his beer (source)|
2. What can worms tell us about the relationship between voltage and calcium? A poster (174.03) directly compared a voltage sensitive dye to a calcium sensitive dye it the C. Elegans nematode. H. Shidara's poster explains that the calcium and voltage signals in the AIY neuron do not necessarily correspond. When the voltage was elevated in the soma and dendrites, the calcium was really only elevated in the dendrites, not the soma. I didn't quite catch the putative explanation for this from the researchers, but I suspect the huge surface to volume difference in a cell body compared to a dendrite might have a strong effect on the calcium dye, but not the voltage dye.
3. Finally, a poster (174.06) explains a new method for making an odor sensor. C. Pickford explains that the drosophila larva (commonly referred to as a maggot) has only so many odor receptors but can detect gazillions of different odors (I don't have the exact numbers here). So basically he is trying to make an odor sensor modeled off of the actual larva nose. This would serve two main purposes: 1. to create an odor sensor that can sense many odors and 2. to actually understand how the larva might be processing the information from its few odor receptors to detect many scents.