• A ‘green’ approach to fixing polyacrylamide gels

      Carbonara, Katrina; Coorssen, Jens R. (Elsevier, 2020)
      Handling chemicals that require specific safety precautions and protections generates the need for hazardous waste removal and transportation costs. With the growing effort to reduce both cost per analysis and the environmental footprint of research, we report an effective alternative to the widely used methanol/acetic acid gel fixation solution. 1.0 M citric acid dissolved in 5% acetic acid (C3A) provides comparable results following both SDS-PAGE and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, while also eliminating waste removal costs. •Citric acid dissolved in acetic acid replaces current gel fixative solution.•Cost per analysis is reduced and hazardous waste removal costs eliminated.•Environmental footprint of research is reduced.
    • Peer pressures: Social instability stress in adolescence and social deficits in adulthood in a rodent model

      McCormick, Cheryl M; Hodges, Travis E; Simone, Jonathan J (Elsevier Ltd, 2014)
      Studies in animal models generate and test hypotheses regarding developmental stagespecific vulnerability that might inform research questions about human development. In both rats and humans, peer relationships are qualitatively different in adolescence than at other stages of development, and social experiences in adolescence are considered important determinants of adult social function. This review describes our adolescent rat social instability stress model and the long-lasting effects social instability has on social behaviour in adulthood as well as the possible neural underpinnings. Effects of other adolescent social stress experiences in rats on social behaviours in adulthood also are reviewed. We discuss the role of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) function and glucocorticoid release in conferring differential susceptibility to social experiences in adolescents compared to adults. We propose that although differential perception of social experiences rather than immature HPA function may underlie the heightened vulnerability of adolescents to social instability, the changes in the trajectory of brain development and resultant social deficits likely are mediated by the heightened glucocorticoid release in response to repeated social stressors in adolescence compared to in adulthood.