This column has always been about the world of molecular mental health research. I revisit the technology in this column, now aimed at one of molecular neuropsychiatry’s most intractable, frustrating lines of research: the molecular/cellular basis of schizophrenia.
The neuroanatomical linkage that emerges from a normal part of business experience—the reaction to success and also to failure (especially if that failure happens to someone else)—is the focus of this column.
When I was a grad student—back in the Jurassic Era of molecular manipulations—my lab mates and I were all transfixed by the notion of a new technology: knockout animals (KOAs). This was because of its promise to solve a vexing problem.
Overly sensitive, aversive reactions to stress seem to run in families. The literature abounds with reports of relatives in these populations predisposed to depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Some family members present with glucocorticoid levels notched abnormally high, and in curiously deregulated concentrations. Behaviorally, they seem to exist at a permanent state of high alert.