Eradicating Evil by Coloring Rodent Neurons?

According to Ghahreman Khodadad (p. 3), Susan Dymecki and her team at Harvard Medical School contribute to deciphering the biological mechanisms underlying “excessive selfishness and aggression.” Ghahreman Khodadad is a remarkable person and on top of that the provider of the CNS’s major endowment for its Public Talk Series. “Dr. K.,” as some Penn neuroscientists lovingly call him, believes that only switching off this “deeply rooted and complex behavioral neurobiological disorder,” the excessive selfishness, can bring peace to human societies.

What follows now is a potentially unintelligible account of the Dymecki Lab’s research as Susan Dymecki presented it on December 4 at Penn, titled: “A Specialized Subtype of Serotonergic Neuron Shapes Social Behavior in Mice.” I did my best to follow along, and the methods of tracing the expression of certain serotonergic neurons are truly fascinating (and somehow totally beyond me). Continue reading