February 16, 2010

The genetics of morning larks: Louis Ptacek

In this week’s episode, Dr. Louis Ptacek, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a professor at the University of California - San Francisco, discusses how alterations in our genes (called “mutations”) are responsible for why "morning larks" have to wake up in the middle of the night.

Louis is interested in understanding certain aspects of normal brain function, such as sleep. In my chat with him, he talks about our body’s natural circadian rhythm and how it is controlled by a “feedback loop” that controls gene expression and protein construction.

More on the Ptacek Lab's research

Hosted by Osama Ahmed

February 03, 2010

The meninges help the brain develop: Sam Pleasure

Sam Pleasure

In this week’s session, we learn about the meninges. These are the membranes that cover and protect our central nervous system (our brains and spinal cords). More specifically, we learn from Dr. Sam Pleasure that the meninges may also help our brains develop. He also describes the role of two brain regions that his work focuses on: the hippocampus and the neocortex.

More on the Pleasure Lab's research