Tone of Voice Matters in Neural Communication! Study from MBL Neurobiology Shows How

Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. — The dialogue between neurons is of critical importance for all nervous system activities, from breathing to sensing, thinking to running. Yet neuronal communication is so fast, and at such small scale, that it is exceedingly difficult to explain precisely how it occurs. A preliminary observation in the Neurobiology […]

The Acrobatic Hydra Shows Off:  How Environmental Cues Can Affect Behavior

By Raleigh McElvery WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Although it may seem counterintuitive, researchers are turning to an animal without a brain to crack the neural code underlying behavior. Hydra vulgaris, a tiny, tentacled, freshwater organism, uses “nets” of neurons dispersed throughout its tube-like body to coordinate stretching, contracting, somersaulting, and feeding movements. This simple nervous […]

This Cuttlefish is Flamboyant on Special Occasions Only!

Media Contacts: Diana Kenney; dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 Emily Greenhalgh; egreenhalgh@mbl.edu; 508-289-7119 WOODS HOLE, Mass. – The flashy Flamboyant Cuttlefish is among the most famous of the cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) – but it is widely misunderstood by its legions of fans. A new paper from the Roger Hanlon laboratory at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods […]

First Gene Knockout in a Cephalopod is Achieved at MBL

Media Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. —A team at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has achieved the first gene knockout in a cephalopod using the squid Doryteuthis pealeii, an exceptionally important research organism in biology for nearly a century. The milestone study, led by MBL scientists Joshua Rosenthal and Karen Crawford, is reported in […]

Desert Algae Shed Light on Desiccation Tolerance in Green Plants

For a copy of the paper, contact: Diana Kenney, MBL dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Deserts of the U.S. Southwest are extreme habitats for most plants, but, remarkably, microscopic green algae live there that are extraordinarily tolerant of dehydration. These tiny green algae (many just a few microns in size) live embedded in microbiotic […]

Why Are Offspring of Older Mothers Less Fit to Live Long and Prosper?

Media Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. – The offspring of older mothers don’t fare as well as those of younger mothers, in humans and many other species. They aren’t as healthy, or they don’t live as long, or they have fewer offspring themselves. A longstanding puzzle is why evolution would maintain this maternal effect […]

Team Dramatically Reduces Image Analysis Times Using Deep Learning, Other Approaches

Media Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. – A picture is worth a thousand words –but only when it’s clear what it depicts. And therein lies the rub in making images or videos of microscopic life. While modern microscopes can generate huge amounts of image data from living tissues or cells within a few seconds, […]

Microscope Allows Gentle, Continuous Imaging of Light-Sensitive Corals

WOODS HOLE, Mass. – Corals are “part animal, part plant, and part rock – and difficult to figure out, despite being studied for centuries,” says Philippe Laissue of University of Essex, a Whitman Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Many corals are sensitive to bright light, so capturing their dynamics with traditional microscopes is a […]

Squid Studies Suggest New Route to Therapy for ALS, Targeting Synaptic Dysfunction

Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most devastating adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Patients, including the late actor/playwright Sam Shepard, become progressively weaker and eventually paralyzed as their motor neurons degenerate and die. To find a cure for ALS, which is fatal, scientists need a deeper understanding of […]

Little Skates Could Hold the Key to Cartilage Therapy in Humans

Contact: dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-685-3525 By Emily Greenhalgh WOODS HOLE, MASS. — Nearly a quarter of Americans suffer from arthritis, most commonly due to the wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the joints. As we age, or get injured, we have no way to grow new cartilage. Unlike humans and other mammals, the skeletons of […]