News

Can we kill superbugs before they kill us?

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Most of today's antibiotics have come from a surprising source: bacteria. In fact, just one type of bacteria — Streptomyces and their cousins — produce two out of three antibiotics now in use. “Bacteria are constantly waging chemical warfare with other microbes, so they’ve evolved all kinds of weapons that we can use,” explains Joshua Blodgett, PhD, a biologist at the University of Washington in St. Louis.

Stan Braude: Stories from the Classroom

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Stan Braude, professor of the practice of biology, was awarded the Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award. Braude is ever deserving of this award – an award he is receiving because he was nominated by numerous students. The impact he has had on the students he has taught and mentored over the years is impossible to measure. Read some of their stories.

Meet our new faculty: Natural sciences and mathematics

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Learn about new Biology faculty members Swanne Gordon, Michael Landis and Andrés López-Sepulcre.

Research Lab Technician position available in Vierstra Lab

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The objective of our research is to understand how the collection of red/far-red light-absorbing photochromic photoreceptors - phytochromes - enable perception of light by plants and microorganisms through analysis of their 3D structures using atomic level methods such as x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. The advertised position will aid in these efforts by expressing and purifying recombinant wild-type and mutant versions of these photoreceptors, assist in their biophysical and biochemical analyses, and help develop phytochrome samples for subsequent structural studies.

Science Research Roundup August 2019

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Congratulations to Biology Department members Joseph Jez, Jonathan Losos, Sara Sanders, Elizabeth Mueller, Petra Levin, and Keith Hengen on their latest grants and achievements!

Greenhouse Assistant Position Available, part-time, Danforth Campus

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Assist in plant maintenance in the Biology Greenhouse, growth chambers facility, the Eisendrath garden, and interior landscape within the Biology department on the Danforth Campus.

U.S. Mosquitoes Are Laying 'Time Capsule' Eggs That Can Outlast Colder Winters

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“This all happened within a period of 30 years,” said lead author Kim Medley, director of the Tyson Research Center at the Washington University in St. Louis, in a release from the university. “This disease vector has evolved rapidly to adapt to the United States. The fact that this has occurred at a range limit may suggest that there is potential for the species to continue to creep farther northward.”

Mosquitoes push northern limits with time-capsule eggs to survive winters

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When the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) arrived in the United States in the 1980s, it took the invasive blood-sucker only one year to spread from Houston to St. Louis. New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that the mosquitoes at the northern limit of their current range are successfully using time-capsule-like eggs to survive conditions that are colder than those in their native territory.

Big brains or big guts: Choose one Alternate ecological strategies help birds survive unpredictable conditions

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“What’s really interesting is that we don’t see any middle ground here,” Fristoe said. “The resident species with intermediate brain size are almost completely absent from high latitude (colder and more climatically variable) environments. The species that don’t go all in on either of the extreme strategies are forced to migrate to more benign climates during the winter.” “Having a large brain is typically associated with strong energetic demands and a slower life-history,” said Carlos Botero, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences and co-author of the paper. “Free from these constraints, species with small brains can exhibit traits and lifestyles that are never seen in larger-brained ones.”

Missouri researchers study golf course grass to address agricultural challenges

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One billion hectares of land, an area about the size of the U.S., are affected by salty soil, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The majority of crops are sensitive to salt, resulting in production declines that cost at least $27 billion each year, says a study published by the United Nations. “And it’s continually getting worse,” said David Goad, a doctoral candidate at Washington University. As agricultural fields are irrigated, water evaporates but salt doesn’t, producing saltier soils each year. These issues are particularly problematic in dry, hot climates, including the western U.S.

Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

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The Department of Biology at Washington University seeks a colleague working in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology to fill a tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant Professor level. We are interested in candidates who employ innovative approaches to conduct research in one or more of the following areas - biochemical systems, plant science, developmental controls, and/or genome biology.

In Defense Of Naked Mole Rats And What We Can Learn From Them

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Picture a pinkish, hairless, wrinkly rodent about the size of a small sweet potato. Researchers are studying naked mole rats to figure out what they can learn about longevity and health.

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