BBI Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Thomas Park
Friday, March 30, 2018
Room 1103 Bioscience Research Building
Cosponsored by the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Park, University of Illinois at Chicago
Title: Naked Mole-Rats: Blind, Naked, and Feeling No Pain
Abstract: Naked mole-rats have an unusual lifestyle in that they combine a fully subterranean existence, extreme sociality, and a proclivity for living in large numbers. Spending their entire lives in crowded burrows where many individuals share a limited air supply, these animals have evolved an unusual resilience to the challenges of breathing exceptionally low levels of oxygen and exceptionally high levels of carbon dioxide. Our studies have revealed numerous extraordinary features of naked mole-rat neurobiology that are hypothesized to be adaptations for living under these challenges. Some of these features protect the brain from low O2, while others promote peripheral nerve insensitivity to CO2-induced acidosis.