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Janis Weeks, Ph.D.

Microfluidic EPG Recordings From Diverse Nematode Species

The InVivo Biosystem ScreenChip platform was developed for C. elegans, which is a free-living (non-parasitic) species that feeds on bacteria and has both hermaphroditic and male sexes. However, C. elegans represents only one of the estimated 1 million members of the highly diverse phylum Nematoda, of which only ~25,000 species have been described. In addition to free-living species, other nematodes parasitize humans, animals or plants, with significant medical, veterinary and economic consequences. To demonstrate the utility of microfluidic EPG recordings from species beyond C. elegans, we adapted the platform to record from human and animal parasites, male and female members of a dioecious species, and a carnivorous nematode.

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Flint water crisis. Man holding young girl.

Where the Lead Leads: Seeking Mechanisms of Action in C. elegans for Neurotoxic Effects of Lead

Neurotoxin exposure is implicated in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Traditionally, vertebrate animals such as rodents and fish have been used for experimental work in neurotoxicology. However, researchers are increasingly turning to invertebrates such as the nematode, C. elegans, for a variety of compelling reasons

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The Evolution of Drug Resistance; an Issue of “When, not if”

Drug resistance in many pathogens — viruses, bacteria, protozoa, parasitic worms and more — presents a growing and potentially catastrophic challenge to human and animal health. Resistance is manifested by a decreased ability, or complete failure, of previously-effective drugs to successfully prevent or clear infections.  Well-known human examples include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA); multi-drug resistant …

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