Transduction Pathway

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Researchers Maurice Kernan, David Cowan, and Charles Zuker used the scientific methods in their study of the transduction pathway of mechanoreception. Their research was mostly exploratory with a focus on building a theory for the molecular basis of mechanoreception. Extensive research has been done on the transduction pathways of the senses, such as scent and hearing, but very little has been found about the rapid pathway that is mechanoreception. This response is a vital part of an animal’s survival; it involves the mechanisms that respond to touch, contribute to coordination and the means that signal the body about its position. The researchers wanted to determine the mechanism behind this unspecified transduction pathway. To do this, they …show more content…
Random mutagenesis was used to cause random mutations in the drosophila’s DNA. This was accomplished through EMS, a chemical that is known to cause random single-base mutations on the X-chromosome. After they obtained multiple mutated larvae, they used behavioral analysis to determine the responsiveness of each larva. As a control, they tested normal, wild-type flies to determine the four responses that could be consistently reproduced. They interpreted their observations from the behavioral analysis by using a scoring system in which each successful response scored a 1 and there were four trials, resulting in a maximum touch-response score of 16. Within the behavioral analysis, the dependent variable was the responsiveness while the independent variable was the mutated genes in the larvae. This was the best choice for their initial experiment because it allowed them to observe multiple mutations in many flies and find a group in which they can concentrate on and further study. They assumed the group of larvae that obtained low scores would have similar chromosomal …show more content…
They found that if certain genes are mutated, there is profound incoordination and touch-insensitivity. Finally, the researchers are using behavioral observations to make an inference about the internal processes of mechanoreception. Since this is an indirect way of looking at the transduction pathway, they wanted to make sure their results are not due to something other than mechanoreception. To ensure that this wasn’t the case, they used electrophysiology to look more into the molecular basis and physiological response that occurs during mechanical reception transduction. The third experiment used a more in depth experimental design. The design consisted of two electrodes placed on bristles, one attached to the apical membrane while the other is on the basal. Observing a wild-type fly as their control, the researchers determined a normal response that occurs when a stimulus is sent to the fly. The mutated hermaphroditic flies provided further proof when the genes observed in the other experiments were tested with a stimulus and elicited no response. This experiment happened to work well since their results after multiple trials was very

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