Come Explore the Unknown!
By Zoom: at go.wisc.edu/240r59.
In Person: Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison.
For 16 March 2022
Hi WN@TL Fans,
What a week. Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, Pi Day on Monday, The Ides of March on Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, the Spring Equinox this coming Sunday. And they call it “Spring Break.”
It’s also Brain Awareness Week. As the Scarecrow knows, a brain is good thing to have. Brains are our most self-referential organ. What an astonishing feat is brain science, this human enterprise of figuring out how these miraculous 3-pound marvels of mass have in turn figured out how to work a room or navigate the universe.
I don’t know how much a fruit fly brain weighs, but HHMI says a fruit fly brain should contain about 100,000 neurons, in contrast to the 100,000,000,000 neurons in a human brain. Over the long course of evolution, the animal brain has had many strokes of genius, but for biologists few inventions surpass in elegance or impact the development of model organisms. The MO of model organisms is that they’re small, fast, simple & cheap–especially in contrast to humans or to humanity’s livestock or crops. So we study E. coli and brewer’s yeast, Xenopus and Fast Plants, C. elegans or zebrafish, and the ubiquitous & iconic fruit fly. First harnessed in ~1910 as a genetics workhorse, Drosophila still astonishes at the insights they provide, as we get to see tonight.
And as we get to see in a few weeks, during UW Science Expeditions Campus Open House April 8-10, the kind of painstaking and breathtaking research that Jerry Yin will share this evening is also found in many fields of discovery spangled across the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now in its 20th year, Science Expeditions is a chance for you and your friends & family to explore many of the research places and to meet some of the research people whose brains, along with their hands and hearts (the ones where courage resides), make and invent and innovate and generate knowledge & know-how, and in so doing they help create the future. Plan to come explore more on April 8-10.
On March 16, in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, Jerry Yin of Genetics and Neurology in the School of Medicine and Public Health will speak on “What Can Fruit Flies Teach Us About the Persistence of Memory?”
Description: It is now generally accepted that memories involve changing the efficiency of transmission between relevant neurons in specific parts of the brain. Molecules (metabolites, signaling molecules, etc.) and macromolecules (RNAs, proteins and lipids) mediate these processes.
One of the deep problems in neuroscience is how memories can persist for periods of time that far exceed the half-lives of almost all these molecules. This problem is central to an understanding of memory consolidation (the extended process of memory formation) occurs, and how our brain “works.” The hippocampus is a key memory/integration center in the mammalian brain. Hippocampal-dependent memories also require extended periods of time (weeks) to form, a process known as “systems consolidation.”
Both these temporal properties (duration and the time required for consolidation) are mysterious, especially given that the best known “memory molecules” (eg. CaM kinase, protein kinase A, PKMz, CREB, CPEB, Arc, BDNF etc.) need to be replenished, and require acute neuronal activity to catalyze their activation.
Long after training, how are these molecules replenished, and what activities catalyze their activation? In this talk, we will discuss new insights into this process using the Drosophila (fruit fly) model system. Oscillatory processes (which can persist forever) and their associated molecules are likely important for memory consolidation.
Bio: Jerry Yin is a professor in the departments of genetics and of neurology in the UW-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health. He studied at Princeton University and then received his PhD in molecular biology from UW-Madison. He was a post-doc at MIT and then at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he was promoted first to assistant professor and then to associate professor before coming to UW-Madison in 2004. He is known for showing the transcription factor CREB is important for the formation of long-term memory.
“Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior” by Jonathan Weiner (about Seymour Benzer)
On March 23, Jill Thein-Nissenbaum of the Physical Therapy Program will share her insights and techniques on Physical Therapy Management of Osteoarthritis in the Hip and Knee, a topic of interest to many of with a lot of miles on the odometer, as well as to many athletes with many years ahead of them. I am reminded that much depends on our joints, around which our primate motion pivots.
Bio: Jill Thein-Nissenbaum, PT, DSc, SCS, ATC is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Iowa State University, her Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa, and her Doctorate of Science in Orthopaedic and Sports Science from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah. In addition, Dr. Thein-Nissenbaum has been a board-certified Sports Clinical Specialist (SCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties since 2001, and has been a certified athletic trainer since 1990.
Dr. Thein-Nissenbaum has served in numerous capacities since joining the DPT program faculty in 1995. In her current role, she teaches 2 5-credit courses in the musculoskeletal track and a 2-semester Sports PT elective. Dr. Thein-Nissenbaum’s clinical appointment is with the Department of Athletics as the staff physical therapist for Badger Sportsmedicine. She is the first physical therapist to be contracted into the athletic training room and is currently in her 14th season with the Badgers. She provides rehabilitation services and consultation for all 23 sports, working directly with the athletic trainers and team physicians. She was the first individual to perform dry needling in the athletic training room; today, it is a valued component in the care and rehabilitation of UW athletes. She has taken numerous dry needling courses and has spoken on the topic. She is actively involved in professional organizations, and serves as the treasurer of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT).
In addition, she hosts a monthly call-in show through Wisconsin Public Radio, where listeners can call in with musculoskeletal-related conditions and receive recommendations regarding treatment and/or management. Her co-host is her sister, Lori Thein Brody, PT, PhD, SCS, ATC. Her research interests include the adolescent female athlete, bone-related injury, dry needling and prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injuries. She has numerous presentation and publications related to these and other sports-related topics.
On March 30 Robert Kirchdoerfer of Biochemistry will be here to share his insights into the virus that causes covid, and to ways to exploit those insights to impede infection and reduce disease.
On April 6 Audrey Girard of Food Science will show us ways of “Modifying the Roles of Proteins in Foods Using Plant Extracts.”
And on April 8 at 7pm at the Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium we’ll have a special Friday Night edition of Wednesday Nite @ the Lab featuring the team of archeologists from WHS who this fall helped discover and recover a 12,000 year old dugout canoe from the bottom of Lake Mendota.
Remember, we’ve now shifted to Hybrid so we can both Zoom and gather in one Room—Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI.
Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom ZinnenBiotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H
Please share this missive with your friends & neighbors.
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WN@TL begins at 7:00pm Central
You can also watch the web stream at biotech.wisc.edu/webcams for one last time on October 20. The web stream thereafter will redirect viewers to the WN@TL YouTube livestream.
UW-Madison: 5.9 million owners, one pretty good public land-grant teaching, research and extension university.
Visit UW-Madison’s science outreach portal at science.wisc.edu for information on the people, places & programs on campus that welcome you to come experience science as exploring the unknown, all year round.
Here are the components of the WN@TL User’s Guide:
1. The live WN@TL seminar, every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center and on Zoom at go.wisc.edu/240r59
2. The WN@TL YouTube channel
3. WN@TL on the University Place broadcast channel of PBS Wisconsin
4. WN@TL on the University Place website