1. IR40a neurons are not DEET detectors

    A few weeks ago, after more than a year in review, our latest work got published as a “Brief Communication Arising” in Nature. It is entitled “IR40a neurons are not DEET detectors” [1] and reports the inability to reproduce experiments reported by Kain et al.’s in: “Odour receptors and neurons for DEET and new insect repellents” [2]. Our publication is accompanied by the retraction of the original paper from Kain et al. [3].

    1. Silbering, A.F., Bell, R., Münch, D., Cruchet, S., Gomez-Diaz, C., Laudes, T., Galizia, C.G., Benton, R., 2016. Ir40a neurons are not DEET detectors. Nature 534, E5–E7. doi:10.1038/nature18321
    2. Kain, P., Boyle, S.M., Tharadra, S.K., Guda, T., Pham, C., Dahanukar, A., Ray, A., 2013. Odour receptors and neurons for DEET and new insect repellents. Nature 502, 507–512. doi:10.1038/nature12594
    3. Kain, P., Michael Boyle, S., Khalid Tharadra, S., Guda, T., Pham, C., Dahanukar, A., Ray, A., 2016. Retraction: Odour receptors and neurons for DEET and new insect repellents. Nature advance online publication. doi:10.1038/nature18613


  2. DoOR 2.0 released and published

    Great news for the DoOR project, the paper on our comprehensive update of the Database of Odorant Responses was published in Scientific Reports a few days ago [1]. With the paper being published I also finally set the versions of DoOR.functions and DoOR.data 2.0 and created releases on GitHub and Zenodo. The updated web page for quick queries is available at http://neuro.uni.kn.

    1. Münch, D., Galizia, C.G., 2016. DoOR 2.0 - Comprehensive Mapping of Drosophila melanogaster Odorant Responses. Scientific Reports 6, 21841. doi:10.1038/srep21841


  3. The new DoOR AL map - or how to import a SVG as polygon into R

    I am almost done with the first big update for our [DoOR][1] database. I received and integrated tons of data from colleagues all over the world and I updated, wrote and rewrote endless lines of code. Now I finally have the time to polish here and there, e.g. update our plotting functions. Right now I am working on the new antennal lobe (AL) activity maps. We use these maps in DoOR to visualize the ensemble responses each individual odorant elicits across all Drosophila sensory neurons. For example the activity pattern for [Isopentyl acetate][2] looked like this in DoOR 1.0: …


  4. DoOR on GitHub

    A while ago I received a mail from Greg Jefferis who suggested to put the source code of our [DoOR database][1] on GitHub. We do provide the R packages on our homepage but via GitHub it would be easier for people to access and maybe even contribute to the code. I thought this was a great idea and I wanted to learn git anyways. With the help of a very good tutorial  I managed to setup two repositories for the [DoOR.data][2] and the [DoOR.functions][3] package in no time. Now it is easy for everybody who is interested to fork these projects or to follow the latest updates. The next step would be to think about whether it makes sense to release DoOR also via [CRAN][4]. …


  5. R introductory lecture

    Find below the script for the short R-introduction I give during our advanced course in neuroscience. It is not really a lecture but more a collection of example code. I usually go through it line by line and the students bring their own laptops to play around with R at the same time. It contains general R basics and some short intro into plotting using the ggplot() function. …


  6. Press coverage of our cancer detection paper

    Our paper about using the Drosophila antenna as a sensor to differentiate cancerous from healthy tissue got some attention from national and international press. In this post I’ll collect some of the good the interesting and the weird media reports. …