Here we take out all the technical language and make our research accessible to non-scientists. In a series of videos we aim to describe what we do and why it is significant, while sticking to language that anyone can understand. Still have questions? Click the button below to ask us!
Video from the University of Manchester Fly Facility explaining why using flies for science is such a good idea.
The Manchester Fly Facility video explaining the cool breakthroughs made in science using flies.
The really surprising thing about fly brains and human brains is not how different they are, but how remarkably similar they are. Obviously a human brain is much larger and more complex, but the cells they are made of work in almost exactly the same way. But while a human brain is made of billions of nerve cells, a fly brain is only around ten thousand. This means it is much more manageable to study and understand. Even then, trying to study what happens in one or two nerve cells is very tricky, so we use different nerves that we can look at individually. These are the nerves that are attached to the muscles in the fly body. We can see these easily on the microscope, and use electrodes to make them grow new connections, or synapses, that are almost exactly like those in the brain that form long-term memories
In the Davis Lab we are world leaders at using microscopes to answer questions about biology. We develop and improve imaging techniques, build new microscopes and design new software to assess and understand what those images mean. For more information on our microscope work, click the link below.
In our lab we are interested in RNA and how it helps shape and control the function of brains, memory formation and virus infections. But what is RNA exactly? And how does it have such a big impact on so many things in life?
To help explain what RNA is and why it is so important it helps to think of our cells as factories. Each of our cellular factories is a very busy place, with lots of moving parts and machinery. Each of these factories can produce everything it needs to work on a day to day basis, as well as being able to produce another identical cellular factory if one is needed. But where does RNA come into this analogy? Check out the videos below to learn how RNA is a vital part of how our cells work.
Here we explain what it is RNA does in our cells.
How exactly does RNA help us form memories?
A simple illustration to explain how we are able to see single RNAs in our cells using the single-molecule FISH technique