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What My Brain Learned via the Dissection of Another

By Julian Yang, V Form

What My Brain Learned via the Dissection of Another

Before walking into class on Monday, I was filled with curiosity and excitement. It has been six years since I saw an actual brain, and I was barely engaged at that time – although there was a parent who worked with brains and explained the information to us, no actual dissection was involved. The closest I got was holding the brain in my hand

My anticipation began to build during the “instructing” phase. Two feelings stirred inside me: one, I would be able to see everything that I learned in the past two weeks, and two, I was going to feel like a surgeon while using the scalpel. I made sure, however, to be careful: the way it sliced during Ms. Lohwater’s demonstration was enough to curb my excitement. (more…)

Melatonin’s Effect on Learning and Memory in a Tauopathy Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Drosophila melanogaster

By Sophie Haugen and Sada Nichols-Worley, VI Form

Melatonin’s Effect on Learning and Memory in a Tauopathy Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Drosophila melanogaster

Abstract

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes devastating memory loss and cognitive decline in humans. There is no current cure for AD. Research studies show that oxidative stress is correlated to and possibly a cause of this neurodegeneration. Because antioxidants such as melatonin have been found to reduce oxidative stress, melatonin could alleviate neurodegeneration and serve as an effective dietary supplement for people with with AD. In this experiment, a tauopathy Drosophila melanogaster group

Please click on the image to download/see the poster. Zoom in to read specifics.

that express human tau (MAPT) under gal4in neurons were used to model AD in humans. This study measured learning and memory of the Drosophila through an olfactory vortex learning assay in a t-maze. Groups of flies with and without melatonin supplementation were tested in the t-maze. Following experimentation and data collection, preliminary results from this study suggest, but do not confirm, that melatonin reduces memory loss and improves cognitive function in a Drosophila AD model. Further trials are needed to confirm the suggested results.

Click here for full LAB REPORT. (more…)

Drawing on Our Brains: How Neuroscience and Art Can Teach Us About Learning

By Gabe Brower, VI Form

 

Drawing on Our Brains: How Neuroscience and Art Can Teach Us About Learning

I have yet to meet a single student at Saint Mark’s that has never crammed for an exam. They fill up their brain temporarily with information for an upcoming test in a vain attempt to not fall flat on their face the next day during their test. To be honest, it sometimes “works”, as defined by a good score, and I can speak from experience in this area. However, that doesn’t mean cramming is effective. It is the result of disengaged students and ineffective teaching methods that culminates in temporary information retention, and over the long run the crammed  information isn’t retained. Therefore, no valuable learning takes place. (more…)