The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded for the third time in September 2012, by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo. The accompanying Kavli Prize Symposium on Neuroscience, held in Bergen and Trondheim, was a showcase of excellence in neuroscience research. The common theme of the Symposium presentations was the mechanisms by which animals adapt to their environment. The symposium speakers--Michael Greenberg, Erin Schuman, Chiara Cirelli, Michael Meaney, Catherine Dulac, Hopi Hoekstra, and Stanislas Dehaene--covered topics ranging from the molecular and cellular levels to the systems level and behavior. Thus a single amino acid change in a transcriptional repressor can disrupt gene regulation through neural activity (Greenberg). Deep sequencing analysis of the neuropil transcriptome indicates that a large fraction of the synaptic proteome is synthesized in situ in axons and dendrites, permitting local regulation (Schuman). The nature of the 'reset' function that makes animals dependent of sleep is being revealed (Cirelli). Maternal behavior can cause changes in gene expression that stably modify behavior in the offspring (Meaney). Removal of a single sensory channel protein in the vomero-nasal organ can switch off male-specific and switch on female-specific innate behavior of mice in response to environmental stimulation (Dulac). Innate behaviors can be stably transmitted from parent to offspring through generations even when those behaviors cannot be expressed, as illustrated by the elaborate burrowing behavior in a rodent species, in which independent genetic regions regulate distinct modules of the burrowing pattern (Hoekstra). Finally, at the other extreme of the nature-nurture scale, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis in children and adults identified a brain area specifically involved in reading (Dehaene). As the area must originally have developed for a purpose other than reading, such as shape recognition, this illustrates the use of a previously formed neural structure to tackle a new challenge.
The first Nordic Countries Meeting on the Zebrafish as a Model for Development and Disease took place at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, November 21-23, 2012. The meeting gathered 130 scientists, students, and company representatives from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as invited guests and keynote speakers from England, Scotland, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, and the United States. Presentations covered a wide range of topics, including developmental biology, genetics, evolutionary biology, toxicology, behavioral studies, and disease mechanisms. The need for formal guidance and training in zebrafish housing, husbandry, and health monitoring was recognized, and the meeting expressed its support for the joint working group of the FELASA/COST action BM0804 EuFishBioMed. The decision was made to turn the Nordic meeting into an annual event and create a Nordic network of zebrafish researchers.
Decision of vaccination strategy in relation to increased trade of animals and animal products. Proceedings from the 9th Internordic Symposium of the Nordic Committee of Veterinary Scientific Cooperation. Copenhagen, 1-2 December 1995.