MU researchers develop tool that could play role in studying Alzheimer's

7 months 21 hours 28 minutes ago Wednesday, March 21 2018 Mar 21, 2018 Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:42:00 PM CDT March 21, 2018 in News
By: Joshua Tyler, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - MU researchers have developed potential tools that could aid research for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers said the tools will advance fundamental brain research and potentially lead to advancing “deep brain stimulation” treatments used for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The research team looks into an unexpected source of tools for studying the brain: fruit flies.

Researchers from Brandeis University raised the possibility of using a protein found in taste receptors of fruit flies as a tool in brain research, and now MU researchers are building on that research. 

"So currently all of the thermogenetic tools in use are derived from mammals and this protein is only found in fruit flies," said researcher Benton Berigan. "It gives the opportunity to have a entirely new class of proteins to be studied for their ability to be thermogenetic tools."

Identifying the special proteins would give scientists a better understanding of how neuronal circuits function, according to an MU professor of biological sciences, Dr. Troy Zars. Scientists may be able to use the special proteins to control cells in the brain.

"A powerful tool for a neuroscientist, is the ability to control individual cells by turning them on and turning them off," said Berigan. "So what we sought to do is just expand some of the tools that use temperature to also activate individual cells."

The hope for the future is that they may be able to use the same control process in other animals, including humans.

"In order to learn about how the neuron circuit affects causes these diseases and how the neuron cells communicate with each other, it's better to have external control of them," said one researcher, Marzi Amirshenava. "Then you can externally manipulate the cells in order to see the effect of those cells in the circuit."

The research for the protein is still in the early stages and is not yet being tested on humans.

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) - President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 4:20:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The Washington Post says Saudi Arabia's announcement about the death of contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi is not an... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 2:28:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - One man is dead after being ejected from his motorcycle during a crash Saturday night. Kin... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
PECULIAR - Fourth generation dairy farmer Jay Fogle is one of many Missouri milk cow operators who are struggling to... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was killed in a crash late Saturday night on North Stadium Boulevard (State Route E) near... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:47:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - One person was killed and several people were injured in a crash involving a trolley, according to the... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:57:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 5:11:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Nineteen members of Missouri Task Force One returned to Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters Saturday morning after... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been criminally charged days after a woman's body was found near Fellows Lake at... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:58:08 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield woman who killed her live-in boyfriend with a crowbar in 2017 has been sentenced to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:48:36 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A restored St. Louis prairie of native grasses and flowers is in bloom, but the nature... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 8:50:24 AM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke about health care in Columbia on Friday at Laborers Local 955, as part of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After realizing the underrepresentation of Hispanic business owners in mid-Missouri, three Hispanic professionals established a group of 12... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the last week of the regular season and it's a cold one. Our game of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - Two Midwest companies issued separate food recalls this week for bacterial contamination concerns. Hy-Vee said its supplier,... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 4:53:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
CAMDEN (AP) — Toxicology tests show that a boater was drunk when he slammed into a bluff at Missouri's Lake... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:41:35 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Legion of Black Collegians and the FourFront Marginalized Student Council held a solidarity walk Friday to show... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA), along with multiple medical associations, reaffirmed their opposition to the three... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
7pm 53°
8pm 51°
9pm 49°
10pm 49°