03 January 2004


Texas, we have liftoff!

After some more fiddling around, the smaller spikes have died down and aren't so prominent, so I'm getting a much clearer signal. I'm convinced I've got real biological activity.

This is the same type of recording as the last journal entry. This time, the main spikes you see I can attribute to one cell: the tonic stretch receptor of the muscle receptor organ (MRO). It's a little sensory organ that fires when the tail is bent. This picture shows the response to my bending the tail, twice, with the second time being a little harder. At this scale, all the individual spikes sort of blur into one big chunk when the stretch receptor fires really fast, so you see a wide fuzzy stripe instead of individual action potentials. You can see a few single potentials trailing off at the end of the recording, before the tail completely relaxes.

It only took, what, a year and a half to get to this point?

Well, I don't care. This is definitely a great start to the New Year. And boy, did I ever need it! It's a small landmark for me and my research: my first recording from a neuron in my own lab with my own equipment. Or maybe thst should be a "benchmark," since lab work is sometimes called bench work.

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