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14

I'd like to know what is the reference for amoebic learning. I cannot comment directly on this, but there is some evidence for "adaptive anticipation" in both prokaryotes and single-celled Eukaryotes which do not have a nervous system. In the case of E. coli, it has been shown that the bacteria can anticipate the environment it is about to enter. E. coli ...


7

In addition to the excellent response up top (by Poshpaws), one can also imagine how these systems work by looking at recent synthetic examples of single-celled organism memory. It is possible to design various bistable switches using protein pathways, RNAi, or other means that will latch a particular state. In that way, an organism could effectively ...


5

Someone is almost sure to prove me wrong about 30 seconds after I post this, but I don't think that the mechanistic aspects of learning are really all that well known in these study systems. The idea that it is occurring at all is recent enough (I've enjoyed Tanya Latty's Ph.D. work on this, for instance: http://www.tanyalatty.com/Home/research) that I ...


4

An antagonist is a substance that blocks a particular pathway (a receptor). You can therefore test whether a particular drug acts through the opioid system by using an opioid antagonist. If your substance still works despite the presence of the antagonist (which should block the opoiod receptors), you can conclude that it is not working thorough the opioid ...


4

This isn't a case of gene splicing causing different protein variants. In the studies that identified these two functions (GHB sensitivity and riboflavin transport), they were using DNA derived from mRNA (cDNA), which means what was being expressed in their experiments did not have introns, so there was no chance for alternative splicing. This gene has a ...


3

What many drugs and compounds do is bind to cell receptors. These receptors then change shape and various things may happen in the cell as a result (including relaying a message to other cells). Something that binds to a receptor and causes activity is called an agonist. Something that binds to a receptor and causes a partial response is called a partial ...


2

Yes, it does cause lesions in rats, although I don't think it's been observed to do so in humans. See: http://www.druglib.com/druginfo/namenda/description_pharmacology/


2

A mechanical stimulus can act on a tissue with elastic and viscoelastic properties in two ways [1, 2]: distort the cellular membrane which leads to opening of ion channels. create tension on the extracellular matrix or cytoskeleton, to which a ion channel is bound, thus leading to opening of the channel. Stretch-activated ion channels opening leads to ...


1

Its fairly common for a gene to have multiple names. I cant say for certain, but Jax and GeneCards also lists them as being synonymous so I would say its safe to say they are the same http://www.informatics.jax.org/marker/MGI:1289288 http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=SLC52A2 Edit in reply to comment: In higher level Eukaryotes the vast ...


1

I think a lot of your questions try to split the hair; is this happening at the chemical or the histological level and I do get what you're asking, but you should know that the distinction is often not worth making. Pretty much whenever a neuron's involved, the interesting biology is multi-scale. Is the membrane continuous along these tubules, or does ...


1

I think you'll like this article. It's on monoamine release / reuptake inhibition for a host of different psychedelic and empathogenic drugs. This wakefulness inducing effect you describe for LSD is widely reported for all common 5-HT2 mediated psychedelics.


1

You're right, those are all important! There are several good reviews on the mechanism of action antidepressants. I like Molecular Pharmacology, by Nestler, or even Principles of Neural Science, by Kandel. I think a textbook is going to be your best bet, in terms of getting up to speed here, as this is largely an already-researched issue, but here are some ...


1

SSRI's theoretically increase Serotonin levels. Serotonin is an agonist to the 5HT-3 receptors. The 5HT-3a primarily associated with the upper gut and the 5HT-3b with the lower gut. I would guess that theoretically again, SSRI's would tend to increase nausea, emesis, and diarrhea. There may be other effects, but these are the ones I have researched. The ...


1

CB1 and CB2 are indeed particular genes which are present in neurons, but also liver and other tissues. The HGNC website is a good resource for questions like this - HGNC is the international organization that tries to unify and track gene names. The official gene names are CNR1 and CNR2 respectively. Gene names are a bit of a mess, since many genes have ...



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