May 15, 2010

What fruit flies can tell us about alcohol addiction: Ulrike Heberlein

In this week’s episode we talk to Dr. Ulrike Heberlein, a professor in the department of anatomy at UCSF and baseball aficionado. This year, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that can be awarded to an American scientist.

Dr. Heberlein is interested in the genes that underlie alcoholism and drug addiction and uses a seemingly unusual animal model to study it—the fruit fly. Using this model, her lab has identified a gene dubbed happyhour that, when mutated, can reduce an organism’s response to alcohol. She discusses how her lab uses the findings in the fly to guide further experiments in rodents and how these discoveries may soon lead to developing treatments for alcohol addicts.

More on the Heberlein Lab's research

Hosted by Sama Ahmed

May 05, 2010

How your brain tells time: Michael Shadlen

Michael Shadlen

Our guest this week is Michael Shadlen, a professor at Washington University, HHMI investigator, and avid jazz guitarist.

Some neurons in our brain help us sense our environment while others help us move our body parts. Dr. Shadlen is interested in the neurons that link sensory information with behavior—the neurons that help us think and decide. He is also interested in how our brain can keep track of time. Learn how Michael and his lab record from the brains of monkeys to study these processes.

More on the Shadlen Lab's research

Producer: Sama Ahmed