Sunday, June 26, 2022

Flipped Science Fair: Shaka X (Vascular Physics) vs. LaShae Nicholson (Neuroscience)

My name is deandra and i am going to be your referee for today's um science battle um and so before we get started let's introduce the participants for today in corner one we have shaka the zookeeper axe shaka heals from beantown massachusetts or boston for those um who don't know it.

As beantown and he went to boston university which is also in boston uh growing up with seven brothers and sisters the house wasn't crazy enough so now he's got a snake dog and two cats i guess that's why they call him the zookeeper.

But they always quiet down for a home concert while he rocks the guitar so again let's hear it in the chat for shaka who will be representing vascular biology for us today vascular biology fans in the chat please show some excitement all right i see the woos and the yeast okay great everyone.

And in corner two we have lachey the brain surgeon nicholson lachey hails from san diego california and she's a beach rat at heart after going to college in alabama she hopped across the pond to do her master's and phd in germany while she's visited more than 20 countries.

She's from the same university in germany that originally discovered alzheimer's disease which is what her talk will be about today so once again let's hear it in the chat for lache who will be representing neuroscience for us today okay now competitors um i know you just heard.

The intros and it seems like it's going to be a pretty steep competition but i want to keep this a fair fight um so before we begin i will let everyone take one fair jab at each other one three taunt um we'll start with lache hey you're going down today i'm gonna devein your toxic masculinity.

deveining oh no shaka do you have anything to say to that lachey it won't take a biologist to know that your research will be a hard sell oh he brought cells into it oh this is going to be tough okay.

Absolutely all right all right calm down everyone we you know the battle hasn't begun just yet all right um and but it will be starting very soon we are going to hear from shaka first uh shaka if you'd like to get ready and show us your presentation yes i'm very excited about it okay um.

All right can you guys see my slides okay okay perfect but now i can't see you guys so um hopefully if something goes horribly wrong someone can let me know okay so my talk is about how blood flow.

Affects blood vessels um and uh i hope you find it interesting and uh in the background is some pictures of some uh cells that make up some blood vessels so hopefully uh yeah let's get into it so um the vascular system is what is the system that compo is comprised of the heart and all the blood vessels and it.

Acts as like a network of tubes to bring all the important nutrients and oxygen to all the different areas of the body so here we can see on the left a picture of a person with only the vascular system and we can see that it's all over the body because every single part of the body needs blood vessels um you can see there's a.

Lot of blood vessels in the brain to get you a lot of oxygen so you can think and um you know think about blood vessels there's a lot in the lungs to get oxygen and transport it all over your body so it's it can't be understated how important it is and um the cells that line the inner walls of old uh sorry the.

Lights turning off let me just move okay sorry it's like a sensor thing i was gonna leave you in the dark but um and the cells that line the inner wall of all the blood vessels in the body are called endothelial cells and they're what i study.

And they're very important for not just lining the inner wall of the vessel but they're important for organizing where all the blood vessels go so when you're growing you need new vessels to bring oxygen to that new area or if you have an injury you need to stop the bleeding but also if something.

Happened you need more blood vessels to bring all the stuff that you need to repair the injury and all of the organization that's um that happens to in order to generate new vessels um it's all uh conducted and and uh done by these cells called endothelial cells so that's why i think they're.

Pretty cool they don't need anybody else to tell them how to do it they just know how to make a new vessel on their own um so there's two ways that the cells can kind of sense what's going on and know whether or not to make a new vessel or to stop growing or to figure out everything that needs to do.

So that way you can have a healthy vascular system and one of those ways is that the cell can kind of like smell what's going on so there might be a chemical or a protein called a ligand and the cell might have a receptor and can sense that there's some signal out there and it says.

And then that receptor will bind and i'll and then there if there's that proteins there it tells the cell okay i'm supposed to do this thing because i just got a signal that told me i'm supposed to grow or i'm supposed to make a copies of myself or something like that but the other way that cells uh can.

Figure out what's going on around them is that they can simply just feel it so if there's some sort of force that is on the cell if like you you know put some pressure on your hand you can feel there's a physical change there and the cells can do the same thing and that's also really important for.

Their behavior and i think understanding for a long time we've been looking at how the chemicals happen so that's why we have uh medications that you can take it's like some chemical that you can use to change how the cells are responding and hopefully that can help cure the disease but we don't have a lot of information.

About how the forces play a role and i think that they play just as an important role and i'm going to show you a particular case where the forces are could be at least very important so there's a disease called atherosclerosis it's also known as heart disease it's it's affects a lot a lot of people and.

What it is it's a vascular disease where there's some plaque formation underneath the layer of the endothelial cells and what's weird about this is that it's not just like any other injury that with time it will just heal for some reason it just once it starts it continues to get worse and worse and there's no real cure for it.

And we've tried scientists for a long time have been trying to figure out what they can do to help mitigate or cure this disease um but there's there's something missing in in our understanding of it so why why does this get worse with time and um.

I think i gave you guys some hints it might be due to like the chemicals but um from my i'm also very interested in the forces so maybe the something about the forces going on in the blood vessel is uh changing you know the the disease and making it worse with time so you can imagine that if with without the plaques there you.

Have some nice you have nice smooth or what we call laminar blood flow so you have blood going past through the vessel and there's nothing blocking it there's nothing getting in the way but if you have that plaque there now all of a sudden there's a little bit of you know it's harder for the blood vessels to get.

The blood to get through the vessel smoothly and it generates some turbulence so the cells in the front and the back might be feeling different things and maybe that's what's causing the disease to get worse but in order to know we need to test it so that's kind of my hypothesis is that you know the forces might be.

Contributing to the disease so in order to test how the cells respond to different forces we have to put them on in conditions that are like blood flow so we kind of make a little blood vessel in the lab and we have this slide and we put um on the slide we put some hopefully you guys can see my mouse i'm.

Not sure if you can but um you can see the mouse okay cool so we have this um slide and we put the cells on the slide and we just pump uh it's not actually blood but it's uh just kind of like sugar water and we can push flow over them and just see how the response cells respond simply by taking pictures of them with a microscope.

And what we found is that the cells align their body with the direction of the flow so here flow is going from left to right and we can see that the cells get longer from left to right and here's kind of a nice video of them doing that so we have flow going from left to right and then over time all the cells just by not by themselves they're.

Doing all together but they're all aligning and um we were wondering what you know why are they doing that what does that mean um for the cell and potentially what does it mean for the disease so before i get um.

So one of the things that we can do that we wanted to try is okay so we know that they align but what happens if we change the flow direction so i mentioned earlier that i was thinking well maybe there's some change in the flow that's happening when the plaque is there.

And what does a change in flow how does that affect the cells and we wanted to see simply how stressed out are the cells so a way you can tell if a cell is stressed out or unhealthy is um there's this protein called p65 and you don't necessarily have to remember that but when.

A cell is uh not stressed out the p65 is all throughout the body of the cell and then when the cell is stressed out it goes to the center and here the cells were under flow and then we added some more flow and the flow is in the same direction as the bodies are aligned so here's the arrow.

Flow and we can see the cells are lining in the same direction as the arrow but if we switch the direction of flow so here the cells are we flowed them this way first and they're all aligned that way and then you switch it to be the opposite direction that they're aligned and we.

Can see now p65 is in the center meaning that the cells are stressed out so what does that mean so if this flow is the same direction of the cell that's good the cells like that um if it's in the opposite direction that its body is then that they don't really like that and they get stressed.

Out so you could imagine if you kept changing the direction or if you had turbulent flow the cells would be always stressed out because they don't know which way it's going so that's that's another hypothesis um so if this was the blood vessel would um.

Your cells be stressed out if you have different flows because the plaque is there um i can't see the chat but feel free to answer in the chat and i'll look later but it does seem like these cells are stressed out and as this gets bigger.

Um the cells get even more stressed out and then as it gets even bigger because the flow is even more turbulent the cells get even more stressed out and then this makes the disease get worse and worse and worse so now we think that because of the forces we figured out you know why the disease seems to get worse with time.

Um but that leads to the next question is but like how the end of the cell cells actually sense the flow if we figure out how they're sensing the flow is there a way that we can make the cell stop being stressed out with changes in flow and then maybe it gives the body time to heal so we know that there's some proteins in.

The cell that are important for the cells to align so there's this protein called v-cad here and then it's along the edge of the cells and the cells use it to um kind of pull on each other and talk to each other um and if we here's an experiment where um.

This little mouse can't move um an experiment where the cells are subjected to flow this is no flow and then this is after about overnight with some flow and we can see that they're aligning in this direction but if we don't have this protein if we remove it from the cell we can see that the cells even under flow.

They can't align anymore so um and like i mentioned the the this protein is along the border so in green is actually an image of where this protein d catherine is in the cell and we can see in static and flow.

Conditions that it's all along the edge of the cell so it means that the cells are probably communicating with each other saying hey we should all go this direction or we could all uh you know we should stay this way so if we can figure out maybe how this protein is working then maybe we can figure out a way to make the cells feel.

Better even when there's turbulent flow so another interesting thing is that we found that these proteins are actually activated where there's less flow so here's a big artery that's connected to the art the heart and it's called the aorta and it's kind of curved and you could imagine so this is kind of like looking at it sideways and the flow.

Would go from here and then down and as the flow goes up and around the the it's pretty smooth and constant but around this bend it kind of gets like the blood flow kind of gets shot off to the side and there's a little bit of turbulent flow here just because the vessel is curved and we can see in this area of turbulent flow that there's this.

Activation of the cadherin and what's really interesting is that this is the spot where we also see atherosclerosis in these plaques so this is another picture of the same thing it's this side of the aorta and the blood flow would go like this and on the top where there's nice and smooth flow it's nice and thin and it looks like.

There's no plaques here but all along this side we can see all these plaques so there's definitely something interesting going on with v-cad here and turbulent flow and in this case it led to atherosclerosis so if we can prevent if we can change how vector and acts in response to flow can we help prevent the disease so i'm.

Thinking to myself what are the things that regulate how the cadherin is responding and doing some research from some other scientists we found that there's this protein called lgn and it react and change how we had here if i could change something that affects.

It i can hopefully uh find some more useful information um so i decided to see how lgn affects how the cells sense the flow and i did that in the same way just by removing lgn from the cells um like i showed you with the caddierin earlier and when i remove lgn from the cells we can see our cells that have lgn they're on the top.

And the cells without lgn are on the bottom and and this this these kind of colors show you how well aligned the the inside parts of the cell are and we can see with the direction of flow so the flow is going from left to right and if it's more blue and green that means the cell is more aligned and if it's more pink.

And purple that means the cell is less aligned and here we can see that without lgn the cells don't align that well and this is what v cadherin looks like so we can still see it's at the border and you know it's it's there as it should be but it's just behaving a little bit differently and then the last picture is.

Just all the all these pictures kind of put together so you can see the full body of the cell and what's really interesting is you can notice that all these cells are still long like they don't look like the static or they're all kind of not really aligning these the cells in both conditions are.

Long but these guys are going in the wrong direction so this graph on the right is just showing that if you quantify how long the cell is this they're the same length but for some reason these guys are confused and they don't know which way the flow is coming indicating that you know maybe this.

Protein is important for how the cells can sense the direction of flow um so the next thing we want to do is simply see where this protein lgn is located so this full body is is a cell and the white and gray is where lgn is so we can see there's a lot in the center here and there's a little bit along the body.

And then when we put five minutes the flow over the cells we can see kind of the lgn it's a little bit less throughout the rest of the body but it goes to the edge where we know that v cat here to v can hear and to tell it to do something and then after the flow is stopped it's.

It it's it goes back so maybe this protein is going to where it needs to go to tell the cell to go in the right direction and if we can maybe find a way to uh manipulate it and kind of get it to go where we want then maybe we can make the cells feel happier in a situation that would stress.

Them out but we still don't know how the whole thing works there's a lot of work to still be done and so that's kind of what my job is now but maybe if we can figure it out we can find a way to prevent the disease from.

Getting worse um so thank you this is everybody in my lab and um yeah let me know if you have any questions or ideas because this is a work in progress so if some if someone in the audience noticed something i'd be happy to look into it.

Thank you thank you so much shaka for an incredible um for an incredible um talk um and now we'll hear from heather to explain how the voting is going to work for this event awesome thanks deandra um so for the voting you should get a little voting poll launching up on.

Your screen right now and we're going to vote on three different things on chaka's presentation so how understandable was the presentation were you able to follow most of what shaka said if he used any big or new words did he explain it well so if you were completely lost vote one.

You understood everything vote five or you can vote anywhere in between we also want to know how much should this presentation spark your curiosity and imagination even if you don't want to do this research yourself how much did it make you think wow that's cool and lastly.

How much more do you feel you know about this topic compared to when you join the zoom meeting we want to get an understanding of how much you've learned if you've learned a lot a little or nothing at all just let us know all right and while everyone's voting um we are going to ask shaka some of the.

Questions um that you've asked in the chat um and so you know feel free to also ask any more questions if you have any um but shaka once again great presentation great presentation i'm sure everyone else in the chat agrees and we got a lot of questions um one question that we got you were.

Talking a lot about stress um and you know you're talking about the stress of these cells um one student was wondering um is this somehow related to um uh like excessive stress induced um heart failure so is the stress on the outside like you know when you're like.

Stressed about an assignment is that also related to the stress in the self um sorry could you repeat the second part absolutely um so is the stress that you're feeling from like you know um i've had to do this homework i've got so.

Many plans is that kind of the same sort of stress that we're talking about with these cells so yes and no so um yes so we're looking at something a type of stress called inflammation um and inflammation uh is usually something that happens when like you're.

Sick or in a case like you're stressed out about homework or something like that and your body releases all these chemicals to say you know we should be on alert or we should respond to danger whatever that danger may be so they are definitely linked together but it's not like being stressed about.

Your homework will cause your endothelial cells to be stressed out in this type of way so it um if you're stressed out it can lead to more inflammation in your body which uh isn't um ideal uh but it's not the exact same thing.

Um it's not that yeah it's a specific type of stress not ever not all stress okay i think that i think that answers it for me thank you thank you um we also got a lot of questions in the chat about the disease itself um specifically a lot of questions about.

Survivability of this disease um is this a degenerative disease have people lived from this disease what's known about that so unfortunately no this is one of the leading causes of death in the united states especially it usually happens over a very long time and there's a lot of things that you can do to prevent it so the first plaque.

Might form 40 years before you actually end up needing to go to the hospital with something so that's why doctors are often very um always telling people to exercise need a healthy diet to prevent the plaques from ever getting there in the first place um but uh yeah no often times it's it's.

Unfortunately very sad there's not much you can uh do it can lead to various different things like the heart disease heart failure as well as stroke so these are things that unfortunately hear about you often um and right now there's not really too many cures oh it's a good thing that you're working.

On it then um another question um that we had had to do with the cells themselves so um how how do the cells really have the sense of touch um that you were talking about yeah so it's actually really interesting i.

Mentioned that there's chemical and physical forces but actually what the cells do is they have these proteins called mechanosensors and it's just what it sounds like they're mechanical sensors and what happens is if there's a force on the cell then these proteins release chemicals into the cell that they can.

Respond to so one of these things might be calcium if you push on the cell it releases calcium because there's these little sensors that feel that they were pulled and that tells them for calcium to go into the cell and that tells the cell what to do so really what the cell is doing is converting the physical input.

Into some sort of chemical signal that i can understand hopefully that makes sense um but that's actually what happens when um you feel anything your body's converting that into chemical signals that your brain can understand and the cells do that their their own way okay i think i'm getting it now.

Um and so i think we're going to have time for one more question if you haven't voted yet and you'd like to vote this is your last chance to vote um for shaka um and um while you're doing that i will ask the last question um one of the students in the chat was.

Really interested by the experiment that you were doing that you showed with the sugar water that was kind of colored red like blood um and they wondered if it was possible to try the experiment at home and if not um can you describe like um how difficult it is to set up something like that.

Um it's actually i don't think you could do it from home just because i don't know where you would get the cells from there we get them actually from uh people that donate them and they have to undergo a procedure in order to get them so we can only get them from a licensed doctor.

Um and so it's not something you can just get by yourself it's it's something that we're lucky enough to have doctors that are able to do that and then give them to us to do the experiment um but it's just something that you can kind of keep in mind that every time you feel your heart beating it's pushing blood over these cells and.

It's letting the cells know what to do it's more or less you're always doing the experiment in your in your own body okay so here that everyone's already doing the experiment at home so no need to set anything fancy up okay um thank you again so much shaka um we are now going to give the floor to lachey who will talk about neuroscience.

For us today so let's hear it in the chat for lachey you can you hear me yes we can hear you just fine okay so i will share and then i will make this all right great.

All right so it's nice to be able to give a talk to you guys about why vessels matter and neuronal diseases however before i go into this i just want to share two important key points so.

The first is that vessels are locked like neurons so as chakras said before that blood vessels and neurons occupy every portion of the body and every organ and then at the cellular level both.

Neurons and vessels actually have the same cellular features so for example here you have what's called the neuronal axon and you have blood vessels and at the tips of these cells you have what's called these filopodia.

Like structures which are actually finger like structures without that allows you blood vessels and neurons to sense their extracellular environment in response to attractive cues and also repulsive cues all right thing i want to introduce is alzheimer's.

Disease so alzheimer's disease is something that i'm working on for my research and alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease in which you have a severe loss of nervous tissue within the brain as you can see here in his alzheimer's disease brain.

In comparison to a wild type normal healthy brain and just to give you some quick facts about alzheimer's disease in the united states so it is also something that affects nearly six million people um within the u.s and this will actually become 13 million.

People within the next 20 to 30 years and unfortunately over the past two years during the coven 19 backed pandemic there's been an increase in 80 related death and also one in three seniors also died from alzheimer disease or some other form of neurological disorder and alzheimer's disease is also a really.

Expensive um disease in which 355 billion dollars are used on patient care and which is provided by 300 um sorry by 11 million people over the course of 15.3 billion hours with respect to people taking care of their loved ones who are suffering from alzheimer's disease.

So um because of um alzheimer's disease being such um so prevalent within the united states it's very likely that you as you get older or either come succumb to alzheimer's disease or might have a loved one who's also suffering from a disease.

So the way that alzheimer disease work is that there's a protein called amyloid beta which under normal circumstances forms these single monomers which are actually healthy for neurons which promote neuronal growth and neuronal function.

However these monomers can aggregate over time and form these protein clumps called um which are toxic amloy beta oligomers and these only boomers are responsible for causing neuronal or abnormal neuronal signaling leading to neuronal death.

And the way that this works is that in under normal healthy circumstances you have synapses which are the communication points between two neurons which allows for signals to pass one neuron to knee to another via receptors which allow for normal neuronal signaling and function.

However in the case of alzheimer's disease you have the formation of these amyloid bala oligomers which become very toxic and it'll interact with these same receptors which allow for abnormal or toxic signaling within a neuronal cell and in response.

To this abnormal signaling you have what i call i'm 6 signals which are signals that say that tell cells neurons that they are not healthy are actually tacked at the synapses and then what you have are immuno cells so these are cells that police to bring they are responsible for removing.

Unhealthy cells and toxic waste and in response to these im6 signals they begin to attack these unhealthy neuronal cells leading to synapse loss and eventually neuronal loss however there is a way that neurons can survive in response to these toxic amyloid beta.

Signaling so recently um or actually before i came to the lab my colleagues discovered a drug um which they found that interacts with this um.

These receptors that block this toxic amyloid beta signaling preventing this abnormal signaling and via this drug therefore you can protect the neurons and prevent this immunocell attack so even though you still have the presence of these toxic amyloid beta.

Algomers you still allow for normal neuronal function and signaling and this you can also see in tissue so what i have here is an example of an image from an alzheimer's disease brain in which you can see the glial cell marker or immune cell marker gfap which is in.

Green and an sv2a marker which is a synapse marker which is in pink and in the alzheimer's disease brain that doesn't receive this drug you have the immune immune cells in green attacking these synapses so you can see.

These purple dots within the green cell however with the drugs drug treatment these cells are no longer attacked by these immune cells so you see no pink dots within the green cells meaning that these cells are healthy and although you have armor of beta they're able to function signal.

Function normally so i spent a lot of time talking about neurons and alzheimer's disease however i want to remind you that blood vessels and neurons are alike so what about blood vessels so blood vessels they supply oxygen and.

Nurturance to the brain and because blood vessels and neurons are very much alike and they respond to similar signals there are very close to each other so no blood vessel is more than 10 20 microns from the nearest neuron.

And like neurons vessels have these filopodia so these finger light sensors which again sense the extracellular space and they can respond or grow towards or move away from these extra.

Cellular signaling molecules so for example blood vessels can grow towards regions where they can sense low oxygen and the process of blood vessels growing for towards these um signaling molecules this is a process called angiogenesis in which you have.

The formation of new blood vessels from existing blood vessels all right so how do we study vessels in alzheimer's disease brain so in a lab what i do is i work with a mouse model in which i have a normal healthy wild type mouse and then i also have an alzheimer's.

Mouse and i let these mice age over the course of 12 months and then at the 12 month time point i collect the brain tissue i make brain slices from the tissue in which i then label these two shoes with different antibodies which mark immune cells blood vessels and amyloid beta cells are or alamo beta elements.

Which i then image and as you can see here this is one image from a healthy brain and in this healthy brain you can see the vascular the vessels which are marked by this vascular marker called lectin and these vessels are healthy and normal and there's no presence of amyloid beta.

However an alzheimer's disease brain you have these vessels which look smaller less vessels and they look somewhat unhealthy as you can see here and that these vessels are abnormal in regions where you have these amyloid beta plaques.

All right so what's going on um or what's happening to these blood vessels in alzheimer's disease brain so again under normal conditions you have very healthy blood vessels which function normally they supply oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

However in alzheimer's disease brain you have the formation of these amyloid beta oligomers or these dix plaques and these plaques they actually take up space and they move vessels away from each other and then what happens is that you have areas where there is very low oxygen and in the presence of very low oxygen.

The surrounding tissues secrete these i'm sick signals or there's low oxygen signals in which you produce or you promote angiogenesis so the formation of new blood vessels however because um.

You have a lot of these i'm six signals being produced you have what's called abnormal angiogenesis so hyperaging genesis where these blood vessels are forming so quickly but they actually don't form proper blood vessels and because of this over time.

These blood vessels become sick and which again attracts these immune cells which actually attacks and kills these blood vessels all right so with respect to the title in my talk why are blood vessels important in neuronal brain diseases.

Um it's because neuronal diseases are actually really complicated so although this is a neurological disorder in which neurons are actually being impacted and there's a lot of neuronal death there's actually a lot of other cells involved namely blood vessels and immune cells and a lot of other cells that i haven't even.

Mentioned today however there are drug treatments that are available for neurons that say that are neural protective that that prevent the neuronal loss however because neurological disease are complicated you need drug treatments that um also protect vessels as well.

So even though you have the same neuronal disease you have multiple cells involved which needs multiple strategies to find a cure so in this case what i'm using in a lab i'm using mouse and human and cell culture models i'm using imaging we do a lot of behavioral testing in animals we also do gene expression profiling in.

Hopes of again finding another drug um that can not only be protective of vessels but also protective of alzheimer's disease and which we can hopefully find a cure and having said all that.

I want to leave you with my favorite quote from my favorite scientist which is everyone is a neuroscientist because everyone has a brain and i love saying this and i love telling this to students because no matter what your background no matter what your interest in for example i'm a neuroscientist who's also interested in.

Blood vessels but i also am interested in computer science which is also something i use to study the brain so there's something that everyone can do that can contribute to the field of neuroscience based off your own interest so thank you for listening um i hope you.

Understand everything in my talk and i will be happy to answer any questions okay thank you lashea for an incredible talk and also thank you for that quote you know um i've had a brain so i really didn't know i was a neuroscientist so um thank you so much for that um just like with shaka um.

Heather is going to put up a poll and this time you're going to answer those same questions um for lachey so while i am asking questions feel free to um you know use your your nice healthy brains to um vote for lachey's presentation.

Okay so we also got a lot of um questions during um your presentation and um i will ask a couple of them here now um one question that we um just got in the talk was actually about um.

You mentioned that you used a lot of different strategies to study this disease um one being like looking at human brain and one looking at my sprain the brain and mice um are there any differences between those two different types of brains that could affect your research that you're doing.

Um yes so um so mouse brains and human brains are actually similar similar in a lot of aspects in a sense that they both have blood vessels and neurons and they have the same signaling.

Molecules so this allows us to use animal models in order to study human conditions however there are definitely differences between humans and mice in terms of where certain genes or certain things.

Are expressed within the cells and then also alzheimer's disease itself is also very complex in a sense that you have the disease that's related to genetic disorders some mutations there's some other different signaling molecules that contribute to.

Alzheimer's disease which can't be reflective in the same mouse model so um although you can use an animal model or a cell culture dish in order to study the human condition um you definitely you always have to go.

Into a human model or work a human patient in order to find an eventual cure for the disease okay so so it is a model it gives you a lot of insight but you do have to look to humans for the final the final thing yes definitely okay thank you for for that answer.

Um the next question we have is um is um somewhat related um so uh we had a question about um i guess um how you actually um got the um.

Pieces of the mice frame to do the experiments um so is this done by x-ray um is it a surgery how does that work all right so actually there's different ways you can do this so um in in our lab we have methods in which we age the mice and unfortunately we have to sacrifice because we remove the.

Brain from the mouse um however there's also other techniques as well so we have what's called um pet imaging so this is in vivo imaging so you can monitor the brain in a live wake animal.

Again under normal and wild type conditions as well and then there's also things where you can do in vivo imaging where you can use a microscope and you can actually look at very precise look for very precisely at the movement or functions of cells.

Again in an alive wake animal too so there's again there's different methods and there's different strategies what's nice are the good thing about harvesting the brain tissue is that you can slice the brain in several different sections.

So that means you can use the same brain to study different proteins different cell types um yeah that you're interested in as well okay and i think we have time for one more quick question um so we know alzheimer's is a disease.

Of the brain um and does this disease um is there a way for this disease to only affect the brain and not the rest of the body um because i know you mentioned a lot about like the vessels and everything like that is this also affecting like other vessels in the rest of the body or is this kind of really localized and if so.

Um is that a way to kind of make the disease not um be as uh fatal i guess if it's only affecting one part of the body is i think what the student was getting at yeah so um alzheimer's disease is a terminal.

Disease because again we as humans we need our brain to function so we have a lot of neuronal loss or a lot of brain loss this can impact the quality of life and also lead to death um so um within the brain we have something.

Called that's called the blood brain barrier so um the brain is it has its own um protective barrier around it that prevents things within the peripheral nervous system impacting the central nervous system and this blood brain barrier is also.

Established by blood vessels as well and actually one reason why you have the accumulation of these amyloid beta plaques is that these these toxic molecules are not able to pass out of the blood-brain barrier and.

To be safely removed from the body and so alzheimer's disease is something that is specifically um uh um is um something that happens within the brain um but it's also because there's an.

Improper function of the vessels as well that's preventing this removal of these toxic molecules from the brain okay great explanation um it seems that um we are closing down the voting now thank you again so much lashay that was incredible um and very intelligible.

Responses to the questions as well um and i think i am now going to pass it on to heather who has collected all of your votes and is going to crown the winner for us tonight hey everybody let's see i can stop okay all right.

So thanks everybody for coming to this super science showdown and congrats to shaka and lashay today for their amazing presentations but you guys are probably really interested in who actually won the battle how do your votes stack up can i get a drum roll please.

All right so for the first question we asked how understandable the presentation was and here we have lachey in the lead by just a few fractions of a point um i have a feeling this is going to be a close one and for the next question we asked how.

Much did this presentation spark your curiosity and imagination and again lachey is leading by just a little bit these are both really great presentations and you guys rated them both very highly and for our last question how much do you how much did you learn how much do.

You feel you know about this topic compared to before and these scores are dead even down to like four decimal places they're both like 4.3642 or something crazy um they're dead even exactly the same i've never seen anything like it um.

So we averaged all the scores together and you guys could probably guess who won but lachey won by just a few fractions of a point her presentation was just a little bit more understandable a little bit more interesting to you guys tonight so i'd like to crown her the winner.

Congrats lache yeah thank you but shaka also gave a good talk as well it's really interesting for sure it was a close one and just so you guys know what's coming up in the next few weeks maya said this earlier.

But today we did a round of flip science fair versus next week we have a demo hands-on demo day the registration for this is already closed but if you guys signed up for it you and your parents would have already gotten emails about it so we hope to see.

You next week if you already signed up if you're not signed up for that in two weeks we're gonna have another battle we have two great scientists coming your way and the week after that we're having a discussion about what does science do in policy and how does that influence our lives day to day with our mayor justin ellicker.

So we hope to see you guys soon and thanks for coming to this battle

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