Event Title

An Analysis of the Mechanisms of Circadian Responsiveness

Presenter Information

Andrew Fletcher, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Diamond 344

Start Date

1-5-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 3:00 PM

Project Type

Presentation- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

Circadian rhythms are oscillations generated by many different varieties of life to keep track of the 24 hour cycle and manage day-night orientation. In mammals, these rhythms are generated by the superchiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a structure of 20,000 neurons in the ventral hypothalamus, which drives many behaviors and physiological processes, such as sleeping patterns, physical activity, and hormone release. Experimental evidence suggests this network maintains a relatively homogeneous oscillation pattern from cell to cell by means of a network of connected cells. Each cell uses a variety of molecular feedback loops to maintain a near-24 hour oscillation. By using computational models of SCN cells and networks, many studies have gained insight into the complex behaviors of these cells. Recent research has used the VRC analytical tool as well as an SCN model to consider the effects of cell strength on cell synchronization. A cells strength relates to its intrinsic amplitude, or the level of expression of the various clock genes.Recent research has shown that a network with weak cells at the hubs will synchronize quicker than one with stronger cells in the same location. While cell strength has been shown to be important for network synchronization, it is currently not understood what mechanisms drive how a cell modifies its responsiveness. The goal of this project is to find an explanation for how a cell might control its strength. In order to do so, we have generated and analyzed data across a wide variety of SCN models to find similarities in the sources of cell strength.

Faculty Sponsor

Dale Skrien

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Computer Science Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

828

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May 1st, 1:00 PM May 1st, 3:00 PM

An Analysis of the Mechanisms of Circadian Responsiveness

Diamond 344

Circadian rhythms are oscillations generated by many different varieties of life to keep track of the 24 hour cycle and manage day-night orientation. In mammals, these rhythms are generated by the superchiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a structure of 20,000 neurons in the ventral hypothalamus, which drives many behaviors and physiological processes, such as sleeping patterns, physical activity, and hormone release. Experimental evidence suggests this network maintains a relatively homogeneous oscillation pattern from cell to cell by means of a network of connected cells. Each cell uses a variety of molecular feedback loops to maintain a near-24 hour oscillation. By using computational models of SCN cells and networks, many studies have gained insight into the complex behaviors of these cells. Recent research has used the VRC analytical tool as well as an SCN model to consider the effects of cell strength on cell synchronization. A cells strength relates to its intrinsic amplitude, or the level of expression of the various clock genes.Recent research has shown that a network with weak cells at the hubs will synchronize quicker than one with stronger cells in the same location. While cell strength has been shown to be important for network synchronization, it is currently not understood what mechanisms drive how a cell modifies its responsiveness. The goal of this project is to find an explanation for how a cell might control its strength. In order to do so, we have generated and analyzed data across a wide variety of SCN models to find similarities in the sources of cell strength.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/43