Mohit Kumar Jolly

Stories from Mohit Kumar Jolly

Saturday, October 9th, 2010
Remember the last monsoon drizzle and the smell from the moist soil, or that moment when you discovered the gas was leaking in your kitchen? These examples tell us that we can differentiate between a variety of odors and their intensities. We possess this ability because olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in our nose can sense different odorants, just our tongue’s taste buds can detect different flavours. How does this smell sense develop? Do we ‘learn’ to smell and discern different odors and their intensities through experience or are these abilities that we are born with? Or is it a combination of both processes? If learning is involved, at which development stage do we ‘learn’? These are some of the questions central to understanding the experience-dependent modification of animal behavior.
Saturday, August 21st, 2010
We all grew up listening to the proverb - ‘Birds of a feather flock together’, but do you know birds of different feathers, i.e. birds belonging to different species, also flock together? There are obvious potential benefits for doing so- decreasing predation risks, increasing foraging efficiency, etc. Based on their behavioral traits, different species contribute differently to the formation and maintenance of such groups, and in providing symbiotic benefits to other participants. Examining the roles of various species in these motley crews is essential to answering many ecological and evolutionary questions pertinent to multi-species groups in general.
Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Imagine a computer as sophisticated as is currently possible - a vast array of silicon-based interconnecting pathways. Even this would still be a primitive device compared to a mammalian Central Nervous System (CNS). The fundamental units of the CNS, the neurons, interact at junctions called synapses through their branched projections, the dendrites. The accurate and precise development of the branching patterns formed by dendrites is thus essential for the emergence of a functional network of neurons.

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