News

Check in here and/or follow us on Twitter for the latest ups and downs 

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We've received a science communication award!

November 9, 2021

This year's Brain Power Award (Hjernekraftprisen) was shared between Ragnhild Irene Jacobsen and two other recipients (Sunniva Grønnslett and Morten Skumsrud Andersen). The prize, presented by the trade union Forskerforbundet (The Norwegian Association of Researchers), is awarded for stories in any format that depict why research is important to a general audience. Ragnhild's submission "Finding (bioluminescent) light in the darkness" was praised for "being on the verge of poetry, a beautiful and fascinating portrayal of life in the deep that titillates the reader's curiosity".

You can read the awarded piece here and read more about the prize and the other recipients on the association's website (in Norwegian).

We hope you like it too!

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Our biggest rejection yet

June 24, 2021

Our 8 million NOK application to The Research Council of Norway's "Researcher Project for Young Talents" was rejected today. This means we still cannot operate full-time or take on students. It's heart-breaking but not entirely unexpected - this was after all our first big funding application and we are very new to the grant-writing game.

 

We will, however, continue to work with our generous and fantastic collaborators on what the evaluators called a "highly creative and original project [...] with significant likelihood of producing unique new knowledge" and aim to return with a stronger application in a later round. But first, plenty of ice cream and a good movie to cheer up!

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Launch of our code repository on GitHub

June 3, 2021

The official code repository for the MNL is live on GitHub! This is where we will manage and share the code we use for our projects. You can already check out how we deliver light stimuli to our worms with an Arduino - both code and setup diagrams are available in our  Arduino_code repository.

Happy coding everyone!

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Our first preliminary results

April 5, 2021

Question: how do marine worms react to bright lights?

Answer: they swim faster!  (see the video on Twitter)

By using the torch function on a smartphone and our quick fingers, we could provide a brief light flash (white circle in top right corner of image) to Tomopterids filmed in the dark with infrared light. 

These worms live in dark waters and use bioluminescence to communicate, to it is perhaps not surprising that they are startled by bright lights!

First field trip!

February 18, 2021

We went on our very first field trip today, to collect tomopterids!

How do you go about doing that? By letting a big plankton net sink several hundred meters into the sea and hoping you'll find some in the little collection bucket when it resurfaces. We found 8! 

Plankton net: borrowed from our friends at the Trondhjem Biological Station

Boat: Harry Borthen, rented from Normann Maritime AS

Photo: Horst Obenhaus

First successful funding application!

January 29, 2021

Gidske and Peter Jacob Sørensens Fund has granted us 100 000 NOK (approx €9 600)! We are over the moon with joy: this means we can rent a boat to collect the specimens we need for our experiments, buy a powerful computer for data acquisition and analysis, as well as acquire reagents for doing histology. 

This time, we celebrate with take-away sushi while looking forward to the exciting science times ahead! 

2020-2021 new year

2020 summary

January 2, 2021

After a Covid-19 induced delay, the MNL finally 'opened' in August 2020 with the arrival of our first Tomopteris specimens. At the end of the year, our status is as follows:

Team members: 1 

Funding attained: 0

Funding applications submitted: 4

  • Wilhelmsen Scholarship (rejected)

  • Hans Herman Horns Stiftelse (under evaluation)

  • Torstein Erbos Gavefond (rejected)

  • Gidske og Peter Jacob Sørensens Fond (under evaluation)

It's been a year of ups and downs and no one knows what 2021 will bring, but our goal is to find something to celebrate regardless. 

Happy New Year everyone!

Chocolate fondant with ice cream

First grant rejection

November 26, 2020

We have received our first funding application rejection. Rejection is the norm in research, but it's still painful. So how to feel better? By making, and eating, chocolate fondants (one undercooked + one overcooked = perfection), read a good book and get up the next day ready to continue this journey! 

Plus, we're now official members of the biggest club in research, that of grant rejectees. Another milestone reached!

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We're moving!

November 5, 2020

We're saying goodbye to our living-room-lab, and hello to NTNU SeaLab. They are letting us borrow a corner in their fantastic facilities, in a temperature controlled room with easy access to fresh seawater. Although it has been great fun keeping worms in a kitchen fridge and doing experiments on a living room floor, moving to SeaLab will make data collection much easier. Their generosity is beyond words and we're beyond excited to continue our journey with them!

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First funding application submitted!

October 14, 2020

We have submitted our very first funding application for the lab: an equipment grant that will allow us to buy the basic materials we need for our experiments. If successful, this grant will be our first official funding source and substantially support our initial experiments. But if unsuccessful we'll be an official member of the biggest club in the scientific community, given that the vast majority of funding applications are in fact rejected. Either way, this is a big milestone for the lab!

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Our website is live!

September 22, 2020

Hello World! The lab now has a website and a Twitter account where you can discover what the Marine Neuroscience Laboratory is all about. Stay tuned - our adventure has only just begun!

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The first Tomopteris specimens have arrived at the lab!

August 27, 2020

One of our friends at Trondhjem Biological Station, Nicole Aberle-Malzahn, went on a research cruise in Trondheimsfjorden with her team and found 11 Tomopteris specimens among their samples. These she very kindly donated to marineneurolab and officially kicked off our behavioural studies. Thank you Nicole!