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An unexpected role for striatal D2 neurons in motivation

Main findings of this work When humans or animals execute actions that satisfy a necessity or desire, they feel pleasure. This perception is important for survival because it makes individuals search and work for things they want/need.  The neuronal circuit involved in reward and motivated behaviors is complex, but one crucial region is the nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens has two distinct neuronal populations that express different types of dopamine receptors: D1 and D2 neu ...

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ICVS PhD student received an oral presentation prize at 2nd ASPIC International Congress

The PhD student Joana Vieira de Castro, from the Neuroscience Research Domain, supervised by Bruno M. Costa, was awarded with the Oral Presentation Prize on the 2nd ASPIC (Associação Portuguesa De Investigação Em Cancro) International Congress, with the work “Autofluorescence as a new biomarker to identify Glioblastoma Stem Cells”. The 2nd ASPIC International Congress took place on April 28th and 29th 2016, at the IPO-Porto, Portugal. This Congress was also pa ...

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The top performing students from Minho's high schools visited ICVS/ECS

The top performing students from the high schools of Minho Region visited the School of Health Sciences of UMinho and ICVS to do short term research projects, contact with researchers and to be clarified about the medicine course.

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Science Outbreak Week 2016

The 2016 edition of the Science Outbreak Week took place from the 11th to the 15th of April. This yearly outreach activity is dedicated to the promotion of the research performed in the Microbiology and Infection Research Domain of ICVS. During the event the ICVS/ECS received more than 350 participants from high schools, senior universities and other institutions from the region of Minho. The participants had the opportunity to do experiments, test laboratory equipment and visit the ICVS lab ...

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MD PhD student from ECS/ICVS discovers a gene that regulates sleep

A team of Thomas Jefferson University discovered a gene, TARANIS, that regulates sleep in Drosophila. Importantly, TARANIS has a related gene in mammals, which may work in a similar manner, although more studies need to be performed. Using a forward genetic screen  (random mutations), researchers were able to identify genes that disturbed sleep in flies. One of the most interesting genes identified was TARANIS; mutants for this gene only get about 25% of their daily sleep. Authors sugge ...

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