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Spotlight: Measuring Reflexes Using the EMG Reaction Timer!

Meet the EMG Reaction Timer!
Reaction Timer

The EMG Reaction Timer will settle once and for all who has the fastest draw in the west… or you can use it to perform neuroscience experiments, in the home or classroom, exploring how we respond to different kinds of stimuli! The Reaction Timer works with our EMG SpikerBox and Spike Recording Apps to give you the most precise measurement of how quickly you can react to a stimulus! There’s no buttons to press or rulers to catch, which can create a minor amount of lag, you just have to FLEX in response to the cue! (more…)


The Emperor Scorpion’s New Groove: Choreographed by Dylan the Scorpion King

Hello loyal subjects!  Your Scorpion King is back with another update.

First I’ll some news from the homeland-more scorpions have joined the family!  There are now a pair of Red Claw scorpions (named for their large, reddish tinted claws) among my 8-legged roommates.


Dinner time! Here’s a video I got of my Red Claw chowing down on a cricket

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Cort continues his Optogenetics Odyssey in this week’s installment of “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”

Hello, again. I’m Cort, the fly guy (I also do research with fruit flies) at Backyard Brains.

Since the last time I posted I’ve made significant progress in my research! IT WORKS!!!

In the above video what you’re seeing is one of the flies I’ve bred having its proboscis extension activated with an LED. Optogenetics works! Now that I have it work, I’ve been busy playing with the new “flyscope” and raising more transgenic (organism with dna put into it from another organism, in this case the light sensitive protein) flies for my experiments. In order to breed the flies that I need, I had to dive straight into a world of genetics and Fly husbandry. I spent quite a bit of time at the University of Michigan Shafer lab learning about Drosophila (fruit flies) and how to raise them.

 

Fly husbandry is pretty intimidating at a glance, but once you break past the complexity it really isn’t so bad. It’s common knowledge that most complex organisms undergo a process called “recombination” during meiosis (when sex cells or “gametes” are formed in the body). One of the main reasons that scientists love using fruit flies to conduct genetic experiments is (more…)