Digital C.Elegans…Coming Soon?

Are digital c.elegans coming soon? Their entire genome has been mapped and a virtual connectome has been published, now can we simulate the entire biology of the worm or worms with different mutations? Alexis Madrigral discusses this topic in a provoking article in The Atlantic:

…What’s so hard about simulating its behavior?

Basically, everything.

We don’t know how to simulate every single protein and nucleic acid in a cell. And even if we could, it would be computationally staggering to try to model each and every cell in the worm down to that atomic level, figuring out each and every molecular interaction inside these densely packed cells. No experiments can output that data.

CLARITY: A Big Advancement For Neuroscience

CLARITY: A Big Advancement For Neuroscience


Three-dimensional view of stained hippocampus showing fluorescent-expressing neurons (green), connecting interneurons (red) and supporting glia (blue). Image from Deisseroth lab.

Using fluorescent antibodies that are known to seek out and attach themselves only to specific proteins, Deisseroth’s team showed that it can target specific structures within the CLARITY-modified — or “clarified” — mouse brain and make those structures and only those structures light up under illumination. The researchers can trace neural circuits through the entire brain or explore deeply into the nuances of local circuit wiring. They can see the relationships between cells and investigate subcellular structures. They can even look at chemical relationships of protein complexes, nucleic acids and neurotransmitters.

Understanding Asymmetry

For organisms to develop and grow, asymmetry is essential. New research from Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists reveals how a localized source of a signaling molecule directs a dividing stem cell to produce two different cells—one identical to its parent, the other a more specialized cell type—and aligns those cells. In a developing tissue, such oriented divisions will position cells to migrate to the right place to ensure the right architecture.

Read more about Wnt from the Nusse Lab.

ResumeUp Is Up

The beta version of ResumeUp is now available and I thought I would check it out. You can easily sign in with your LinkedIn or Facebook account. Overall the site is user-friendly, but there are limitations when making a selection under the professional area. For one, I was a nontraditional student: I was a competitive ice-dancer, then worked in the art business for a few years before going back to college to finish my degree in my late twenties. At college I was exposed to top neuroscience research and developed a passion for the field. I took on a number of internships and worked while I was school. Now I would like to apply my research skills in the workplace. This could possibly cross over into more than one industry. The ResumeUp application is good for a linear outlook, but I’m wondering how it will be viewed by recruiters if someone did not take a linear career path or alternatively has a portfolio career.