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FALL 2011
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Spinal Cord Regeneration in Zebra Fish

Zebra fish are unique because their larvae are transparent and their nervous system can be observed through their skin. Cornell neurobiologist Joe Fetcho uses zebra fish as a model organism for developing a basic set of principles on the organization and function of neurons, and for studying cell regeneration. He has developed a robust strategy for inducing cell growth and restoration of function, both necessary for curing spinal cord injury.

 

 

Social Wasps: Conflict and Cooperation

Paper Wasps

 

In honey bee colonies, only the queen can lay eggs. This means that the reproductive interest of the workers lies solely in supporting the queen. In paper wasps, by contrast, the workers themselves can reproduce, raising the possibility of conflict between the interests of the workers and that of the queen.

Kern Reeve and his graduate student Jessie Barker have been exploring the balance between conflict and cooperation in these wasp societies.

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Honeybee Democracy

bee

 

In his newest book, professor of neurobiology and behavior Thomas Seeley presents insights offered by years of close observation of how honeybees find new homes. For the honeybee, finding and moving into a new home is a challenge that takes place each year and bears life-or-death consequences for the entire swarm.

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Undergraduate research: Kaitlin Hardy uses fruit flies to study epilepsy

FlyA group of undergraduates led by Kaitlin Hardy is using "bang sensitive" mutant fruit flies to investigate the use of drugs designed to treat human epilepsy.

When these flies are given a mechanical shock they undergo seizures that are remarkably similar to human epileptic seizures. At least one of the drugs designed to treat human epilepsy protects the flies from this effect, suggesting that these mutant fruit flies may be a useful model for exploring other treatments.

Hardy is part of the FACES (Facts, Advocacy, and Control of Epileptic Seizures) research lab.

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