nb221 fruit fly lab

nb221 fruit fly lab - Nb222 February 9 2008 Fruit Fly Lab...

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Nb222 February 9, 2008 Fruit Fly Lab Introduction: The neuron is the cellular foundation for signal detection, integration, perception, and response in the human and animal body. The action potential that propagates between neurons is essentially the most basic level of communication in the nervous system. In order to generate and propagate an action potential, the selectively permeable neuronal membrane establishes an ionic electrochemical gradient using specialized membrane- imbedded proteins known as ion channels. These proteins are especially prevalent in the axon of the neuron, where voltage-gated sodium and potassium ion channels open and close along the membrane due to depolarizations and hyperpolarizations of the cell. Mutations in the gene complexes that code for these channel proteins produce phenotypic changes that are both extremely significant and widespread in the body. Structural changes in the ion channels could potentially alter the number of action potentials generated by neurons or in the worst case scenario, inhibit them completely. Because of the major physiological role neurons play, these mutations could be evident very obviously in the behavior of an organism. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster , is an ideal model for experimental study due to its short life span, high reproductive rate, and small, sequenced, and highly studied genome consisting of only four chromosomes. In this experiment, the purpose is to observe the behavioral effects of specific mutations affecting the ion channels in this organism’s nervous system. We will explore mutations in the Shaker gene on the X sex chromosome and the Ether-a-go-go gene. The mutations produce loss of function in two
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nb221 fruit fly lab - Nb222 February 9 2008 Fruit Fly Lab...

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