Aditi Mishra

Biological Sciences

Former Executive Committee Member

Have you ever touched a hot surface and reflexively jerked your hand back? Just like us fruit flies also have little sensors in their body through which they detect heat. In fact, since fruit flies are really tiny, they have an obligatory need to detect heat to survive. I aim to identify these sensors, and the temperatures they are active in, through behavioral tests on fruit flies. These sensors can then be used as tools, like switches, to manipulate the activity of cells in fruit flies. For example, it would help us ON a cell in a fly for a period at a temperature. This, in turn, would have major effects on behavior which will allow us to understand the importance of that cell in generating or regulating the behavior. Interestingly enough, researchers discovered a temperature sensor within a family of molecules which help flies detect taste! I am studying the temperature response properties of these molecules. I will be talking about how I use activity of a fly to identify temperature sensors and characterize them.

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