Students from the Bowdoin College engage in hands-on laboratory research.
One of the topics of the course this year is modulation of central pattern generators. We have focused in particular on the mechanisms by which rhythmic motor patterns are modulated, particularly by peptides. In the week-long lab at MDIBL associated with the course, we will be looking at the receptors that are responsible for mediating modulatory effects of several neuropeptides that are found in and/or known to alter functioning of the lobster cardiac neuromuscular system. We will thus look both at the responses of the lobster heart to several different neuropeptide and at previously collected and/or published data examining aspects of those modulatory effects. With these physiological data as a foundation, we will extract RNA from cardiac muscle as well as from the neurons that make up the cardiac pattern generator; the pattern generator consists of 5 large motor neurons and 4 small interneurons. We can isolate RNA from the motor neurons individually and the interneurons as a group to ask where the receptors for specific neuropeptides are found, ie, in motor neurons, interneurons, and/or muscle tissue. In addition to doing qPCR to look at the distribution of mRNA encoding these peptide receptors, students will learn bioinformatics techniques needed to assemble and search a transcriptome, which would enable them to identify the relevant receptors.
- Patsy Dickinson, Ph.D.Josiah Little Professor of Natural SciencesBowdoin College
Housing is assigned. Please call 207-288-9880 ext 102 if you have any questions.
This course is supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103423.