Jellyfish nerve nets provide insight into the origins of nervous systems, as both their taxonomic position and their evolutionary age imply that jellyfish resemble some of the earliest neuron-bearing, actively-swimming animals. Here we develop the first neuronal network model for the nerve nets of jellyfish. Specifically, we focus on the moon jelly Aurelia aurita and the control of its energy-efficient swimming motion. The proposed single neuron model disentangles the contributions of different currents to a spike. The network model identifies factors ensuring non-pathological activity and suggests an optimization for the transmission of signals. After modeling the jellyfish's muscle system and its bell in a hydrodynamic environment, we explore the swimming elicited by neural activity. We find that different delays between nerve net activations lead to well-controlled, differently directed movements. Our model bridges the scales from single neurons to behavior, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of jellyfish neural control of locomotion.
No experimental data sets were generated in this study. Simulation parameters for all figures can be found in the manuscript and its supplements.Hydrodynamics simulations were performed with the IB2D package by Nicholas A. Battista (https://github.com/nickabattista/ib2d).
- Fabian Pallasdies
- Sven Goedeke
- Wilhelm Braun
- Raoul Memmesheimer
- Fabian Pallasdies
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States
© 2019, Pallasdies et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Induced differentiation is one of the most experience- and skill-dependent experimental processes in regenerative medicine, and establishing optimal conditions often takes years. We developed a robotic AI system with a batch Bayesian optimization algorithm that autonomously induces the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial (iPSC-RPE) cells. From 200 million possible parameter combinations, the system performed cell culture in 143 different conditions in 111 days, resulting in 88% better iPSC-RPE production than that obtained by the pre-optimized culture in terms of the pigmentation scores. Our work demonstrates that the use of autonomous robotic AI systems drastically accelerates systematic and unbiased exploration of experimental search space, suggesting immense use in medicine and research.
Splicing is highly regulated and is modulated by numerous factors. Quantitative predictions for how a mutation will affect precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) structure and downstream function are particularly challenging. Here, we use a novel chemical probing strategy to visualize endogenous precursor and mature MAPT mRNA structures in cells. We used these data to estimate Boltzmann suboptimal structural ensembles, which were then analyzed to predict consequences of mutations on pre-mRNA structure. Further analysis of recent cryo-EM structures of the spliceosome at different stages of the splicing cycle revealed that the footprint of the Bact complex with pre-mRNA best predicted alternative splicing outcomes for exon 10 inclusion of the alternatively spliced MAPT gene, achieving 74% accuracy. We further developed a β-regression weighting framework that incorporates splice site strength, RNA structure, and exonic/intronic splicing regulatory elements capable of predicting, with 90% accuracy, the effects of 47 known and 6 newly discovered mutations on inclusion of exon 10 of MAPT. This combined experimental and computational framework represents a path forward for accurate prediction of splicing-related disease-causing variants.