News

St. Louis Wildlife Project Captures The Day-To-Day Of Region’s Wild Animals

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There are roughly 2.8 million people living in greater St. Louis, many of whom would be surprised to know that they share the space with a good variety of wildlife. The St. Louis Wildlife Project now has four seasons of data that they hope will give insight into how wildlife occupy and utilize the region’s urban spaces. For the past year, they’ve collected images from 34 motion-activated cameras planted in parks and green spaces across St. Louis. They’ve spotted foxes, turkeys, river otters and even a couple bobcats. The St. Louis Wildlife Project is a collaboration between the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and the Tyson Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Thursday on St. Louis on the Air, Sarah Fenske talked with project researchers, including Tyson’s natural resources coordinator, Elizabeth Biro, and Whitney Anthonysamy, an assistant professor of biology at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

New Biology Faculty Member Michael Landis

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Michael was attracted to Washington University because of its bright students, its superb biology department, and its close ties to other regional research institutions. During his time studying at Yale, he learned about the Missouri Botanical Garden, a global leader in botanical research and systematics, and the Living Earth Collaborative at Wash U, a new consortium that fosters collaborations between St. Louis institutions to research issues surrounding biodiversity. Michael joined the department last fall and is setting up his lab.

Haswell Lab continues legacy of Quatrano Lab’s moss research at Wash U

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Elizabeth Haswell’s lab primarily works with the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, but the lab’s research recently expanded to include moss, specifically Physcomitrella patens as a model organism.

For This Colombian Scientist, Lizards Led To A Life Of Science!

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More than six percent of the Colombian population identifies as African-descended, but they are still proportionally under-represented in the ranks of Colombian science. But an important step in representation came in December 2019, with the announcement of biologist Jhan Salazar as the winner of the Young Afro-Colombian 2019.

Marshall Wedger, grad student in the Olsen Lab, wins Stephen J. O'Brien Award

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The evaluation committee had the following comments on this top-ranked article: "Nicely designed study of introgression between wild and domesticated rice strains, showing evidence for historic gene flow. Large sample size, and although small numbers of loci, well-tempered results and conclusions. Has important practical implications for human food security.” Marshall will receive a $2,000 prize, a certificate, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend and present a talk at the 2020 AGA President’s Symposium.

Schaal named to agricultural research foundation

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Barbara A. Schaal, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology at Washington University, has joined the board of directors of the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation.

Joshua Blodgett named to the Early Career Reviewer Board at Journal of Biological Chemistry

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JBC’s Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Board is designed to involve scientists at early stages of their careers in peer review, creating a structured path for developing relevant skills and learning about the scientific publishing process. We are thrilled to offer these up-and-coming scientists an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the peer review process and to benefit from their fresh and diverse perspectives.

The Clock Inside-Erik Herzog on NPR's Science Friday

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Erik Herzog, who studies the growing field of chronobiology at Washington University in St. Louis, explains how circadian rhythms are increasingly linked to more than our holiday jet lag or winter blues, but also asthma, prenatal health, and beyond. And he explains why the growing movement to end Daylight Savings Time isn’t just about convenience, but also saving lives.

Remembering Barbara G. Pickard

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With great sadness, we share the loss of our friend, Prof. Barbara G. Pickard of Washington University in St. Louis. Barbara passed on December 6, 2019, from complications related to hip surgery. She served as a faculty fellow of CEMB since its inception. Prof. Pickard played a foundational role in ideas that helped shape CEMB, and was a pioneer and tireless advocate for the fields of mechanobiology, of plant sciences, and cellular electrophysiology.

Grain traits traced to ‘dark matter’ of rice genome

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“Despite almost 20 years of genomics and genome-enabled studies of crop domestication, we still know remarkably little about the genetic basis of most domestication traits in most crop species,” Olsen said. “Early studies tended to go for ‘low-hanging fruit’ — simple traits that were controlled by just one or two genes with easily identifiable mutations,” Olsen said. “Far more difficult is figuring out the more subtle developmental changes that were critical for a lot of the changes during crop domestication. “This study offers a step in that direction, by examining one regulatory mechanism that has been critical for modulating domestication-associated changes in rice grain development.”

And then there was light Arts & Sciences researchers provide new insights on the photoconversion mechanism of phytochromes

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New research from Washington University in St. Louis provides insight into how proteins called phytochromes sense light and contribute to how plants grow. The paper is published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Phytochromes are unique among photoreceptors because they exist in two stable yet interconvertible states: an inactive form that is synthesized in the dark and another that requires light for activation,” said Richard D. Vierstra, the George and Charmaine Mallinckrodt Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences.

Joseph Jez named Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology

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Joseph Jez is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Washington University. He was recently named Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences. "Being named a Spencer T. Olin Professor is a great honor not just for me, but also for the colleagues in the lab - the students and postdocs - who have shared in the scientific journey over the years."

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