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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 05

Defense Mechanisms
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Derek Caetano-Anollés and Jacqueline Brinkman
Lisa Stubbs Laboratory

Funded by the Simons Foundation

This image shows gene activity in the mouse brain in response to encountering an intruder for the first time. House mice, stickleback fish, and honey bees are very different animals, but when researchers closely examine the molecular responses of each species when exposed to danger, those responses are remarkably similar. All three species increase the activity of genes that regulate hormones and neurotransmitters affecting their behavior. This suggests that organisms share a common toolkit of gene activity that guides their behavior.