Department at Work
Locating the brain’s SAD center
Four to six percent of the American public suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year.
Biologists have known that variations in the amount of sunlight a person receives and her or his circadian clock play a role in the disorder. They have also proposed that the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin may be involved. However, they have not yet identified the underlying neurobiological mechanisms responsible.
Now, a team of Vanderbilt biologists has taken a major step toward this goal. In the May 7 issue of the journal Current Biology, they report that they have localized the seasonal light cycle effects that drive SAD to a small region in the mid-brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus in an experiment with mice, a common animal model for studying depression in humans.
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Mar 25, 2015
"People Behind The Science” chats with Seth Bordenstein
People Behind the Science Podcast interviews Prof. Seth Bordenstein.
» Listen here
Feb 2, 2015
Research News from McMahon Lab
New 'reset' button discovered for circadian clock
Feb 2, 2015
Blair senior finds connections between music and science
Jan 29, 2015
Professor Bordenstein and Peek on the Microbiome and Cancer
Professor Bordenstein and Peek on the Microbiome and Cancer Mining the microbiome: How the microbes that share our bodies could prevent cancer.
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Oct 30, 2014
Bordenstein Lab work on Antibiotics, Gene Transfer, and The Tree of Life is featured at National Geographic
Every living thing on the planet has to contend with bacteria. To many viruses, they are prey. To other bacteria, they are competitors. To animals and plants, they can be the cause of devastating diseases or beneficial partners that provide everything from nutrition to immunity to light. They have been around for some 3 billion years, and they are everywhere. So, it makes sense that a gene which allows its owners to deal with bacteria might find a home throughout the entire tree of life. » Read More
Oct 15, 2014
Grand Challenge for Global Health
GCGH Project is highlighted in this YouTube video.
Sep 16, 2014
Mosquito facts and fictions
One of Jason Pitts’ favorite stories is about mosquitoes and their strange attraction to Limburger cheese.
Pitts is a research assistant professor of biological sciences and a key member of a research team at Vanderbilt University that is attempting to combat malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses by developing new and improved attractants and repellants. In his spare time, he collects interesting facts and stories about his research subjects, nature’s ultimate bioterrorists.» Read the full article.
Aug 22, 2014
Rethinking The Origin of Species: Discover Magazine Features The Speciation Microbiome Project by Bordenstein Lab
Introduction: "Scientists have long known of the important roles played by the microbes on and in our bodies -- our microbiomes. These little guys outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, and they help regulate everything from the energy we get out of food to the health of our immune systems. Now, scientists believe that the bugs help play another important role: the evolution of new species."» Read the full article.
Aug 14, 2014
Professor Eichman: Repair protein's DNA recognition motif
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