Teaching worms good taste: Researcher reveals the cell biology of learning at ASCB meeting

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, DEC. 13, 2005-- Survival is an acquired taste. The worm, C. elegans, lives in soil and feeds on different bacteria, including potentially pathogenic ones. But good taste is not innate in worms. This makes olfactory learning a required subject for C. elegans, a creature with 302 neurons and a nervous system so simple that it is possible to map the individual neurons responsible for specific behaviors. Many of the genes that drive the nervous system of C. elegans have human homologs. Therefore, by studying the education of young worm gourmets, researcher Yun Zhang developed a model system for learning that may extend to humans in places like the Rockefeller University where Zhang is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Cori Bargmann.

At the ASCB meeting in San Francisco, Zhang will discuss her "worm school" experiments just published in "Nature" (10 November 2005: Vol. 438:179-184) with journalists at the "TEN AM Press Briefing" on Tuesday (Dec. 13) in Room 212 of the Moscone before her talk later in the day to the "Building Sensory Networks" Minisymposium.

"Worms learn from their mistakes," says Zhang. Some pathogenic strains of common soil bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens can proliferate in the worm gut. Overindulgence in these pathogens can be fatal. Zhang set up a worm school for olfactory learning, raising one group of worms on a diet of E. coli OP50, a standard lab worm food, and a second group on pathogens, either S. marcescens or P. aeruginosa, supplemented with some OP50. For a final exam, the researcher offered her worms a choice between OP50 and the pathogens. Adult worms raised on the toxic diet took one sniff of the pathogens and headed for OP50. Those raised on OP50 didn't know the difference. They dug in without preference.

"This experience-based olfactory change is distinct from adaptation and appears to represent a form of associative learning, similar to taste aversion," says

Contact: John Fleischman
American Society for Cell Biology

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to host press conference call/webcast on data published in NEJM
2. Proteins linked to cancer prevention in humans affect aging in worms
3. Parasitic worms used to fight bowel disease
4. Starvation response in worms points to common hunger pathway
5. Carbon nanotube absorption measured in worms, cancer cells
6. Plant cells black out when eaten by leafworms
7. Regenerating worms help elucidate stem cell biology
8. Evolutionary conservation of a mechanism of longevity from worms to mammals
9. Deep sea buffet for bone-devouring worms
10. Allergy-busting worms, cold water corals and the science of Irishness
11. Fluorescing lab worms signal longer life spans, reports CU-Boulder team

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com , ... biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European Hematology ... Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase 1 ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... Cure Glioblastoma, ... glioblastoma—the most common and aggressive adult brain cancer—announced today the appointments of its ... are charged with supporting the organization’s initiatives and overall vision. , "Senior Fellows ...
(Date:6/25/2020)... ... 24, 2020 , ... eClinical Solutions LLC , a ... accelerate drug development, is collaborating with Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KPTI ) on ... severe COVID-19. This is the first study of an XPO1 inhibitor in patients ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... Lumeda Inc. (“Lumeda”), ... announced the company has entered a license agreement with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer ... exclusive rights to Roswell Park intellectual property surrounding a novel medical device and ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... 23, 2020 , ... DeCurtis Corporation, the premier provider of ... Fournier has been appointed CEO and President. Founder and former CEO, David DeCurtis, ... “DeCurtis Corporation has been on an incredible journey for the last twenty years, ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... 23, 2020 , ... Nobilis Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused ... an Investigational New Drug application (IND) with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration ... NBTX-001 in patients with panic disorder (PD). , "Adding a PD trial to ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... ... June 09, 2020 , ... ... of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funded by the National Institute ... Toxin Detection in the Field”. The project’s goal was to engineer and develop ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: