Student Summer Scholars




Neurogenesis is the formation of new neurons from neural stem cells that occurs throughout adulthood in a variety of animals, including humans. Exercise enhances cell proliferation in mammals, and has been linked to ameliorating age associated declines in memory. Since the nervous system operates under common rules and themes in both vertebrates and invertebrates, our experiment aimed to observe the effects of exercise on the simpler nervous system of invertebrates using BrdU, which labels newly synthesized DNA and indicates cell proliferation. Multiple factors involved in sample preparation, preservation in paraffin, and sectioning via microtome created various challenges early on. Our fundamental focus has centered on mastering these techniques, as it is crucial to eliminate any variability that might affect results. After much practice and troubleshooting, we were able to obtain viable brain tissue sections and are now able to progress toward the exercise trials of the experiment.