Nicholas A Baker

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Aging is associated with cognitive impairment in numerous animal species. Across taxa, decline in learning performance is linked to chronological age. The honey bee (Apis mellifera), in contrast, offers an opportunity to study such aspects of aging largely independent of age per se. This is because foraging onset can be decoupled from chronological age,(More)
Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social(More)
Honeybees (Apis mellifera) senesce within 2 weeks after they discontinue nest tasks in favour of foraging. Foraging involves metabolically demanding flight, which in houseflies (Musca domestica) and fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) is associated with markers of ageing such as increased mortality and accumulation of oxidative damage. The role of flight(More)
BACKGROUND Social-environmental influences can affect animal cognition and health. Also, human socio-economic status is a covariate factor connecting psychometric test-performance (a measure of cognitive ability), educational achievement, lifetime health, and survival. The complimentary hypothesis, that mechanisms in physiology can explain some covariance(More)
Societies of highly social animals feature vast lifespan differences between closely related individuals. Among social insects, the honey bee is the best established model to study how plasticity in lifespan and aging is explained by social factors. The worker caste of honey bees includes nurse bees, which tend the brood, and forager bees, which collect(More)
The rise in metabolic disorders in the past decades has heightened focus on achieving a healthy dietary balance in humans. This is also an increasingly important issue in the management of honey bees (Apis mellifera) where poor nutrition has negative effects on health and productivity in agriculture, and nutrition is suggested as a contributing factor in(More)
This video demonstrates novel techniques of RNA interference (RNAi) which downregulate two genes simultaneously in honey bees using double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) injections. It also presents a protocol of proboscis extension response (PER) assay for measuring gustatory perception. RNAi-mediated gene knockdown is an effective technique downregulating target(More)
Pathogen detection is an important problem in many areas of medicine and agriculture, which can involve genomic or transcriptomic signatures or small-molecule metabolites. We report a unified, DNA-based sensor architecture capable of isothermal detection of double-stranded DNA targets, single-stranded oligonucleotides, and small molecules. Each sensor(More)
We report a versatile microsphere-supported lipid bilayer system that can serve as a general-purpose platform for implementing DNA nanotechnologies on a fluid surface. To demonstrate our platform, we implemented both toehold-mediated strand displacement (TMSD) and DNAzyme reactions, which are typically performed in solution and which are the cornerstone of(More)
Loss of brain function is one of the most negative and feared aspects of aging. Studies of invertebrates have taught us much about the physiology of aging and how this progression may be slowed. Yet, how aging affects complex brain functions, e.g., the ability to acquire new memory when previous experience is no longer valid, is an almost exclusive question(More)
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