Di Lu L&S Sciences
Investigation of Handel Gene in Drosophila Melanogaster Involved in Synaptic Transmission
From reflex to philosophical reflection, the entire spectrum of neural activity relies on the mechanisms of neuron-to-neuron communication, or synaptic transmission. Thus any defects in this process causes catastrophic results in an organism. A mutant of the fruit fly gene Handel, involved in synaptic transmission, was recently isolated in the lab. The mutation causes lethal synaptic transmission disruption. This summer, I will use immunohistochemical staining methods to determine the general aspect of synaptic transmission that is malfunctioning. I will also use deletion, duplication, and recombination mapping to make considerable headway toward finding the location of the gene which causes the mutation. This could increase our understanding of synaptic transmission as well as of higher order nervous system function and dysfunction.