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Research

Biology Component

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Figure 1. Biological component. (A-C) Transplants performed during previous space grant project: One ear, three ears normal orientation, three ears rotated 90 degrees. (D-E) Higher magnifications of B and C showing alignment of the transplanted ear (circled green) with respect to native ear (circled red). (F) Proposed new transplantations: One ear swap (left ear from donor animal will replace right ear, resulting in two left ears), two ear swap (left and right ears swap positions), and third ear swap (additional left ear from donor animal transplanted next to right ear) (F’) Effects of manipulations on eye movements. Hypothesis is that swapping ears will result in an altered horizontal canal signal sent to brain nuclei controlling eye movements, resulting in aberrant contractions or relaxations of muscles controlling the eyes in the horizontal plane. (G-H) Tadpole previously injected with a bHLH mRNA on the right side only at the two-cell stage shows a reduced ear on the injected side. (I) Control ear labeled to show nerves (green) and hair cells (red). (J) Ear reduced in size by a pharmacological blocker of Sonic Hedge Hog. The genetic (G-H) and pharmacologically-treated (J) ears can be transplanted into normal animals, replacing a native ear, to create a mismatch in ear size for studying behavior. (K-L) Two different orientations of a single cell, the Mauthner cell, innervated by two ears in tandem from a three-eared frog. The Mauthner cell is responsible for initiating the escape response in tadpoles.

Engineering Component

NASA engineering research

Figure 2. Engineering component. (A,B) Schematic (A) and test cell (B) of existing apparatus for testing pre- and post-training tadpole behaviors. (C) Tadpole image acquired using the apparatus. (D) Summary of computational algorithm for performing computational fluid dynamic simulations based on image data (application to an American eel is shown in the figure). (E) Existing tadpole elevator, (F) Schematic of proposed slider-crank tadpole elevator showing crank radius r and connecting rod length l. (G) Photographs of the Fluids Workshop.

Last modified on September 22nd, 2015
Posted on September 18th, 2015