Come work with us on FoxP!

on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 2:52 | by

We are looking for a PhD student for behavioral experiments with Drosophila fruit flies with manipulated FoxP function.

The human orthologues of the fly FoxP gene are the FOXP1-4 genes. Mutations in the FOXP2 gene cause verbal dyspraxia, a form of articulation impairment. Humans learn to articulate phonemes and words by a form of motor learning we can model in flies. Supporting the conceptual analogy of motor learning in humans and flies, manipulations of the fly FoxP gene also lead to impairments in motor learning.

FoxP isoform B expression pattern in the adult brain (green). Counterstaining: Bruchpilot (red)

In the past year, graduate student Ottavia Palazzo used CRISPR/Cas9 to edit the FoxP gene locus, tagging the gene with reporters. These reporters allow us to manipulate not only the gene, but also the neurons which express FoxP. The candidate will work closely with Ottavia to design behavioral experiments characterizing the various manipulations of the different neuronal populations for their involvement in the form of motor learning we use, operant self-learning at the torque meter:

The position is fully funded by a grant from the German funding agency DFG, with full healthcare, unemployment, etc. benefits. It includes admission and tuition to the “Regensburg International Graduate School of Life Sciences“. Starting date is as soon as convenient.

The successful candidate will have a Master’s degree or equivalent. They will be proficient in English as our group is composed of international members. The ideal candidate will have some training in behavioral experiments in Drosophila or other animals, some coding experience and an inclination towards electronics. However, all of these skills can also be learned during the project.

We are a small, international  group consisting of a PI (Björn Brembs), a postdoc (Anders Eriksson), one more graduate student besides Ottavia (Christian Rohrsen) and a technician. We are an open science laboratory and so one aspect of the project will involve a new open science initiative in our laboratory, where we have developed a simple method to make our behavioral data openly accessible automatically, i.e., without any additional efforts by the experimenter. This entails at least two advantages for the candidate in addition to doing science right: the data are automatically backed up and there is no need for a data management plan.

Regensburg is a university town in Bavaria, Germany with about 120k inhabitants and a vibrant student life, due to the 20k students enrolled here. The University of Regensburg is an equal opportunity employer.

Interested candidates should contact Björn Brembs with a CV and a brief letter of motivation.

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Stroklitude Testing Pt. 2

on Monday, July 30th, 2018 1:52 | by

Data 1:



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The Tmaze Experiments : Screen results as on 22-7-18

on Sunday, July 22nd, 2018 6:41 | by


Yellow 1 (Positive Control): Gr28bd-G4, TrpA1-G4

Parameters: Light: intensity (500 Lux side, 1000 Lux bottom); frequency = 20Hz; Delay = 1 ms; Duration = 9.9 ms; volts = 6.4

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Experiment Update

on Monday, July 16th, 2018 1:46 | by

> Worked on the ping pong ball machine in the last week.
IMG_2907 (1)

The text file looks something like this: Not very sure how to interpret it because there is no column header.

> Did not find any RU486 fly lines in the Brembs fly stock.
What is RU486 and why are we using it? It is a conditional transactivation method that gets activated when introduced with Mifepristone/RU486 and works on the UAS promoter (Roman et al, 2001).

The genes we are knocking down:
1) SERCA gene
2) Ryr gene

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Overview of Coombe’s Paper

on Monday, July 16th, 2018 11:39 | by

LMC L1 and L2 Paper

(Coombe, P.E., 1986)


  1. mass electrical response of the eye
  2. waveform consisting of summed extracellular potentials produced by retinula cells and postsynaptic neurons
  3. recorded by electrodes
  4. waveform consists of on transient, negative sustained potential and off transient

L1 and L2

  1. Two main reasons to select study upon these two:
    1. Only lamina neurons which are known electrophysiology
    2. Intracellular waveforms roughly correspond to ERG transients

Vam mutants

  1. Vam = Vacuolar medulla
  2. Semi-dominant mutation (Incomplete dominance)
  3. Characterized by formation of large vacuoles and absence of ERG transients

(Electron Micrographs from the lamina) (ERG)

ERG waveform and LMC degeneration

  1. No wt showed degeneration of LMC
  2. Negative nonlinear relationship between % of LMC degeneration and the size of on/off transients in Vam flies



  1. Previous work has shown age-specific degeneration of LMC in the lamina.
  2. Signs of degeneration start to appear in the form of large vacuoles in medulla and lamina.
  3. LMC may be responsible for ERG transients
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Tmaze Exploratory analysis : Middle Flies

on Monday, July 2nd, 2018 2:08 | by

plotting the mean ratio of flies which stay in the middle during experiment.


Yellow 1 (Positive Control):  Gr28bd-G4, TrpA1-G4

Light: intensity (500 Lux side, 1000 Lux bottom)

frequency = 20Hz

Delay = 1 ms

Duration = 9.9 ms

volts = 6.4

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T-Maze experiments : screen results as on 25-06-2018

on Monday, June 25th, 2018 1:13 | by

Yellow 1 (Positive Control):  Gr28bd-G4, TrpA1-G4

Light: intensity (500 Lux side, 1000 Lux bottom)

frequency = 20Hz

Delay = 1 ms

Duration = 9.9 ms

volts = 6.4

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Initial screen results

on Monday, June 18th, 2018 1:15 | by

Yellow 1 (Positive Control):  Gr28bd-G4, TrpA1-G4

Light: intensity (500 Lux side, 1000 Lux bottom), frequency (20Hz)

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A General Buridan Protocol

on Sunday, January 25th, 2015 1:14 | by

For newcomers in the lab and mainly students who want to work on the Buridan setup I wrote a protocol that can be used for all kinds of Buridan experiments. Colorful illustrations will be helpful to easily understand the data processing program. Please, download the protocol here: A General Buridan Protocol

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publishing torque meters comparison

on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 11:17 | by

here is the draft:

Is there any good publication describing the wing beat analyser?
other remarks?

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