Research Roundup: Jan. 2019

By Jennifer Kornbluth

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by Duke Neurobiology in January 2019:

Neural Cell Biology:

Al La Spada's lab developed stem cell models from patients and created stem cell knockout rescue systems, documenting mitochondrial morphology defects, impaired oxidative metabolism, and reduced expression of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) production enzymes in SCA7 models. Read more

Chen et al. demonstrated that activity-inducible histone acetylation tunes the transcriptional dynamics of experience-regulated genes to affect selective changes in neuronal gene expression and cellular function. Read more

Using new CRISPR-based approaches, Scott Soderling's lab demonstrated that endogenous CARMIL3 is localized to developing synapses where it facilitates the recruitment of capping protein and is required for spine structural maturation and AMPAR recruitment associated with synapse unsilencing. They revealed a previously unknown mechanism important for excitatory synapse development in the developing perinatal brain. Read more

Motor Learning:

Jeff Beck and Vikas Bhandawat demonstrated that the locomotion of fruit flies can be decomposed into a few locomotor features that are modulated differentially by odors and show that this non-stereotyped behavior is well-described by a Hierarchical Hidden Markov Model (HHMM). Read more