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With the Odyssey we can normalize our Westerns accurately, we know if we see a true change in expression, or a loading error.

Dr. Nicolai Peschel
Universität Würzburg
Department of Neurobiology & Genetics

Dr. Nicolai Peschel is a group leader in the Department of Neurobiology and Genetics at the University of Würzburg, Germany. Peschel and his students use Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study various neurological disorders and behaviors. One particular focus of their research is the circadian rhythm, which is attuned to the earth’s rotation, and is found in almost all living beings.

Dr. Nicolai Peschel

Studying Genes of the Rhythym

Peschel explains that Drosophila is a great model for studying the genes that regulate this process for a couple of reasons, because 1) the fruit fly shares several regulatory genes with humans, and 2) its genes are easy to manipulate, which makes it easier to find new genes that are important to the circadian clock.

With the help of Western blots, Dr. Peschel and his students measure changes in phosphorylation of proteins to identify those playing a role in various circadian functions. The multiplexing technology, dynamic range, and accuracy of the Odyssey® Infrared Imager are very important considerations in these time course studies.

Expanding the Possibilities of Western Blotting

Dr. Peschel appreciates the ability to normalize—to label a housekeeping protein, a protein not affected by the circadian rhythm, with one secondary antibody and the protein that is under investigation with another. "We see the difference between loads, and can compensate for it. We know if we are seeing a true change in expression, or a loading error," says Peschel.

Using the information that Dr. Peschel and his team gathers on circadian proteins using the Odyssey Infrared Imager could have a direct impact on our lives. For example, we can use it to help decide the best time to go to the dentist. "This is for two reasons," says Dr. Peschel. "First, the expression of the gene that regulates pain is very low in the afternoon, which means our perception of pain is low in the afternoon. And two, the gene that influences the skill of the dentist is very high in the afternoon." We can also determine things such as which time of day to take a particular drug or medication, or perhaps even develop a new drug to help combat jet lag.

We are proud to call Dr. Nicolai Peschel an Odyssey expert.


Publications resulting from work on the Odyssey

  1. Bachleitner W, Kempinger L, Wülbeck C, Rieger D, and Helfrich-Förster C (2007) Moonlight shifts the endogenous clock of Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104:3538-3543

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