Influence of postsynaptic structure on missing quanta at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

drosophila
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 9:05am

Ever wonder why you can’t remember where you put your keys? In her first lead-authored paper, M.Sc. student Christine Nguyen (Stewart Lab) figured out a piece of that puzzle. Christine’s paper “Influence of postsynaptic structure on missing quanta at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction” recently appeared in BMC Neuroscience. In this publication, Christine found that a fraction of the electrical signaling that occurs when nerve cells communicate actually goes missing. Using fruit flies as her experimental system, Christine showed that the effectiveness of the signal from a neuron to a target cell depends on the complexity of structures specialized to receive the signals. The more complex it is, the more likely some of the signal goes missing. This work isn’t exactly going to help you find your keys, but it does help us better understand the relationship of structure and function in neural communication.

Congratulations, Christine on your First Paper Award!