Fransheska Clara
Dr. Peter Brodfuehrer

RNA interference analysis of non-NMDA receptors in Leech Swimming

               In order to understand the structure and function of the nervous system, the analysis of motor behavior is necessary and has provided some insight, particularly in regard to rhythmic motor patterns (e.g. breathing and swimming). Although research over the last 50 years has provided some understanding into the nervous system, information on the cellular and ionic mechanisms that underlie the production of rhythmic behaviors is limited and not tacit. To overcome this, alternating or removing ion channel function during the expression of the behavior through the use of RNA interference can lead to understanding the roles of these specific ion channels in relation to the expression of the behavior. Knocking down the expression of specific mRNA and proteins can create changes in behavior, which then provides an achievable approach to describing ion channel function in behavior.