Yehuda Ben-Shahar

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Cilia are microscopic projections that extend from eukaryotic cells. There are two general types of cilia; primary cilia serve as sensory organelles, whereas motile cilia exert mechanical force. The motile cilia emerging from human airway epithelial cells propel harmful inhaled material out of the lung. We found that these cells express sensory bitter taste(More)
Genes can affect natural behavioral variation in different ways. Allelic variation causes alternative behavioral phenotypes, whereas changes in gene expression can influence the initiation of behavior at different ages. We show that the age-related transition by honey bees from hive work to foraging is associated with an increase in the expression of the(More)
Honey bees undergo an age-related, socially regulated transition from working in the hive to foraging that has been previously associated with changes in the expression of thousands of genes in the brain. To understand the meaning of these changes, we conducted microarray analyses to examine the following: (i) the ontogeny of gene expression preceding the(More)
This study links natural variation in a Drosophila melanogaster overwintering strategy, diapause, to the insulin-regulated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) gene, Dp110. Variation in diapause, a reproductive arrest, was associated with Dp110 by using Dp110 deletions and genomic rescue fragments in transgenic flies. Deletions of Dp110 increased the(More)
In spite of millions of years of evolutionary divergence, the conservation of gene function is common across distant lineages. As such, genes that are known to influence behaviour in one organism are likely to influence similar behaviours in other organisms. Recent studies of the evolution of behaviour and morphological adaptation support this notion. Thus,(More)
Insects utilize diverse families of ion channels to respond to environmental cues and control mating, feeding, and the response to threats. Although degenerin/epithelial sodium channels (DEG/ENaC) represent one of the largest families of ion channels in Drosophila melanogaster, the physiological functions of these proteins are still poorly understood. We(More)
Division of labor in honey bee colonies is influenced by the foraging gene (Amfor), which encodes a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Amfor upregulation in the bee brain is associated with the age-related transition from working in the hive to foraging for food outside, and cGMP treatment (which increases PKG activity) causes precocious foraging. We(More)
Although many animal species sense gravity for spatial orientation, the molecular bases remain uncertain. Therefore, we studied Drosophila melanogaster, which possess an inherent upward movement against gravity-negative geotaxis. Negative geotaxis requires Johnston's organ, a mechanosensory structure located in the antenna that also detects near-field(More)
Molecular analysis of a complex behavioral phenotype is facilitated by dissecting it into simpler behavioral components. Using this approach, we present evidence implicating increased manganese transport by the malvolio (mvl) gene into brain cells as one factor that influences age-related division of labor in honey bee colonies. We studied mvl because(More)
Complex biological processes require coordinated function of many genes. One evolutionary solution to the problem of coordinately expressing functionally related genes in bacteria and nematodes is organization of genes in operons. Surprisingly, eukaryotic operons are considered rare outside the nematode lineage. In Drosophila melanogaster, we found lounge(More)