Who We Are
What We Did
Dissected snail ready to go under the microscope to remove ganglia.
Removing the ganglia from the body of the snail.
Ganglia completely removed from the body of the snail.
Pinning down the ganglia.
The de-sheathing process: carefully removing the layer covering the ganglia.
The end result of the dissection process. Fully pinned, de-sheathed, and created Vaseline wells. Now ready to probe with electrodes.
Close up of B51 firing at 10nA.
Close up of B51 firing at 11nA.
Post-test of the TSN resulted in 4 spikes after training the animal. Results show that the animal learned from the training because of the increase in spikes.
Pre-test: 5 minute feeding test in seaweed extract
DMSO Injection: 10% DMSO injected 5 minutes after end of pre-test
- controls use artificial sea water
Training: animal receives electrical shock to the body 1 hour after injection
Post-test 1: 5 minute feeding test in seaweed extract 1 hour after training
Post-test 2: 5 minute feeding test in seaweed extract 2 hours after training
Post-test 3: 5 minute feeding test in seaweed extract 24 hours after training
What We Learned
Aplysia is a genus of gastropod molluscs, also known as sea hares because of their rhinophores, or tentacles, that stick up like ears. The purpose of experimenting on aplysia is for the fact that they contain roughly about 20 million neurons and are less complex than other animals and humans. In addition, aplysia’s neurons are rather large compared the neurons of other animals, which is another reason for easier experimentation. The main neurons the lab focuses on are B51 and the TSN. B51 is the neuron that tells the snail to eat or not eat. TSN, or the tail sensory neuron, is the neuron that controls the siphon. The siphon is part of the animal’s defense mechanism and releases ink when it feels threatened.
Questions We Have
How do we make memories?
What is the purpose of using aplysia?
Connections to Teaching
(b) Knowledge and skills.
(13) Organisms and environments. The student knows that a living organism must be able to maintain balance in stable internal conditions in response to external and internal stimuli. The student is expected to:
(A) investigate how organisms respond to external stimuli found in the environment such as phototropism and fight or flight; and
(B) describe and relate responses in organisms that may result from internal stimuli such as wilting in plants and fever or vomiting in animals that allow them to maintain balance.