Hot Student Papers

miR-132/212 modulates seasonal adaptation and dendritic morphology of the central circadian clock

19 Apr 2017 - 4:05pm
Circadian clock in summer and winter

HOT OFF THE PRESSES - The genetics of adjusting your internal clock to day length! PhD student Lucia Mendoz-Viveros (Cheng Lab) just yesterday published her 1st First Authored Paper. And this is a whopper of a paper in Cell Reports, entitled: “miR-132/212 modulates seasonal adaptation and dendritic morphology of the central circadian clock”. In this paper, Lucia examines the role of the microRNA gene cluster, miR-132/212, in circadian timekeeping using miR-132/212 knockout mice.  She finds that genetic ablation of miR-132/212 alters the ability of mice to adjust their clock in response to varying day lengths.

Octopamine and tyramine regulate the activity of reproductive visceral muscles in the adult female blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus

3 Apr 2017 - 10:27am
Rhodnius prolixus

Kissing can lead to babies and bugs, and thanks to a new paper from the Lange Lab, we know a lot more about the physiology of egg production in the blood-feeding Kissing Bug (Rhodnius prolixus). M.Sc. student Sam Hana just published his first 1-authored paper “Octopamine and tyramine regulate the activity of reproductive visceral muscles in the adult female blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus” in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Female kissing bugs that are well fed and mated can lay hundreds of eggs in a matter of days, but how they physiologically regulate egg production is poorly understood.

Cloning, localization, and physiological effects of sulfakinin in the kissing bug, Rhodnius prolixus

9 Mar 2017 - 7:41am
Rhodnius prolixus on a person's lips

A scientist’s first 1st-authored paper is among the most important, memorable, and sometimes difficult accomplishments in a career. It is something to be celebrated and for this reason we tip our hat to Ph.D. student Hussain Al-Alkawi (Lange and Orchard Labs) who just published his first paper: “Cloning, localization, and physiological effects of sulfakinin in the kissing bug, Rhodnius prolixus” in Peptides. Sulfakinins, which are satiety peptides found in insects, crustaceans, and arachnids, are homologous to the mammalian cholecystokinin and gastrin family of neuropeptides. The Kissing Bug, Rhodnius prolixus, is the main vector for Chagas disease, which it transmits while feeding on blood.

Ontogenetic change in the temporal region of the early permian parareptile Delorhynchus cifellii and the implications for closure of the temporal fenestra in amniotes

2 Mar 2017 - 7:23am
Yara Haridy

New research in UTM Biology shows that some ancient reptiles experienced a sort of “coming of age”. Graduate student Yara Haridy (Reisz Lab) just published her first 1st-authored paper with Ph.D. student Mark Macdougall as a collaborator. Their paper “Ontogenetic change in the temporal region of the early permian parareptile Delorhynchus cifellii and the implications for closure of the temporal fenestra in amniotes” recently appeared in PLoS ONE. In this work Yara studied fossilized skulls of the parareptile Delorhynchus cifellii. Previously this species was only known from adult specimens, but Yara and her collaborators determined that this new skull belonged to a juvenile individual.

Effects of environmental warming during early life-history on libellulid odonates

9 Feb 2017 - 9:34am
dragonfly nymph

Despite what “alternative facts” might have you believe, climate change poses risks to many organisms, especially ectotherms that depend on temperature for vital metabolic functions. Intraspecific variation in species’ responses to warming may be important in buffering populations from the detrimental effects of warming, yet we know little about how individuals vary in their response to warming. In her first 1st-authored paper, Ph.D. student Dachin Frances and undergraduate coauthor Jy Yang Moon (McCauley Lab), just addressed this problem in “Effects of environmental warming during early life-history on libellulid odonates” published in Canadian Journal of Zoology.

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