May 10, 2017

Using Drosophila as a model organism, the Craig Montell Lab at UC Santa Barbara has made an unexpected discovery about a light-sensitive receptor protein, common to humans and flies, that regulates circadian rhythms. The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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April 03, 2017

Text of NIH Director's writeup:

It’s a problem that parents know all too well: a child won’t eat because their oatmeal is too slimy or a slice of apple is too hard. Is the kid just being finicky? Or is there a biological basis for disliking food based on its texture? This image, showing the tongue (red) of a fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), provides some of the first evidence that biology could indeed play a role [1].

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March 15, 2017

Neuronas o árboles?

The main taste organ of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is the labellum, which is equivalent to the human tongue. The labellum has two sponge-like lobes used to collect food. Within the lobes are branching neurons important for detecting toxic substances flies must avoid to survive.

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April 18, 2016

Nicole Leung is the 2016 winner of the UCSB Grad Slam. Please see:

October 06, 2015

Craig Montell receives a $2.5 million Pioneer Award for a highly innovative project with the potential to curtail insect-borne diseases.

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September 01, 2015

Breakthroughs in Molecular Genetics in Model Organisms Symposium:


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September 22, 2013

If you've ever wondered how you learn to like a food you dislike, a new study conducted by UC Santa Barbara's Craig Montell, Duggan Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, may offer an answer.

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June 13, 2013

Next time you see a fruit fly in your kitchen, don't swat it. That fly could have a major impact on our progress in deciphering sensory biology and animal behavior, including someday providing a better understanding of the human brain.

UC Santa Barbara researchers in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) have been studying the mechanisms underlying salt taste coding of Drosophila (fruit flies). And they have made some rather remarkable discoveries. Their findings appear today in the journal Science.

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November 25, 2013

Craig Montell, Duggan Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology and Neuroscience, was named for the discovery of transient receptor potential channels, which transformed our understanding of sensory signaling and led to insights in how to control neurodegeneration, pain and insect pests.

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