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In Tiny Worm , Unlocking Secrets of the Brain - Research Paper Example

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A. Title Name Bio-102 General Biology; “In Tiny Worm, Unlocking Secrets of the Brain” Nicholas Wade The New York Times Abstract The essay aims to address a two-fold objective to wit: (1) to select a paper/article on a non-scientific magazine or newspaper concerning animal physiology, disease, or plant physiology or disease, or any ecological problem like global warming, and green house effects; and (2) to briefly research the topic of discussion using print references…
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In Tiny Worm , Unlocking Secrets of the Brain
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"In Tiny Worm , Unlocking Secrets of the Brain"

In addition, Caenorhabditis elegans also produced signaling chemicals called pheromones which enabled the roundworm to move toward substances that it finds attractive or escape from repulsive ones. Dr. Cornelia Bargmann watched two colleagues as they manipulate genetically-engineered roundworm. Bargmann is also decoding how roundworm brain functions in reference to Dr. White’s wiring diagram. Early studies involving roundworm as an experimental animal include those of biologist Sydney Brenner in 1974 and Dr. John G. White. Together with Dr. White’s wiring system, Bargmann has understood how the roundworm brain system worked to promote social behavior and has made comparisons that are likely with the human nervous system. After discovering the neurons that control the worm’s switch into hibernation and the worm’s sense of smell, Bargmann worked on genetics and mutations of worms to understand the solitary and social behavior of worms in relation to the human brain. Bargmann and other worm laboratories have deconstructed several operational mechanisms of the brain but despite of all the discoveries, Bargmann wished to fully understand the worm’s nervous system even if it was an unattainable goal. C. Library Search Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most studied organisms on Earth. Among the features of Caenorhabditis elegans that offers advantages for researchers include biological simplicity, transparent body, invariable cell number, small genome size, rapid life cycle, mode of reproduction, ease of maintenance, and a culture of close collaboration (Antoshechkin & Sternberg, 2007, 518). Caenorhabditis elegans also has unique behavior in terms of looking or searching for food through social strains or solitary strains. In social strains, Caenorhabditis elegans move rapidly on bacterial food, favor the borders, and aggregate with little swarms when feeding; meanwhile, Caenorhabditis elegans in solitary strains move slowly on food without spatial preferences and feed alone (Lockery, 2009, 1124). Scientists studied the Caenorhabditis elegans wiring system and its nervous system and explained that the roundworms behavior was due to the mutation neuropeptide gene npr-1 and pheromones which are responsible for olfaction and regulating multiple complex behaviors. Touhara & Vosshall (2009) defined pheromones as substances (proteins, small molecules, or combination) released by the member of the same species that elicits a stereotyped behavior and/or endocrinological response in another member of the same species (p. 308). In short, pheromones act as chemical signals for members of the same species. In npr-1 mutations, a social feeder can convert to solitary feeder and vice versa in a site called RMG interneuron. Scientists found out that RMG forms gap junctions with notably sensory neurons and that high RMG activity promotes social aggregating behavior and sensory response whereas high npr-1 activity diminishes the response (Edison, 2009, 384). Therefore, social feeders have high RMG activity while solitary feeders have high npr-1 activity. Aside from pheromones, neurons also released neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. Using the Caenorhabditi Read More
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