Our immune system is our best defense against sickness on a day-to-day basis, and bioresearchers have been trying to ramp it up to handle bigger threats for some time now. A research lab from MSU found that fish oil can significantly boost immune activity, and a UCSF team discovered genetic “enhancers” that help prevent autoimmune diseases. At the Washington University in St. Louis, scientists are finding that our immune system has the potential to be much stronger and are discovering how to tap into that potential.Read More
Science Market Update
As one of only three large-scale, NIH funded genome centers in the United States, the Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has been a large contributer to cancer research and the research of child illnesses since it was founded in 1993.Read More
Sometimes treatment for some symptoms actually gives rise to other symptoms. These symptoms are called iatrogenic symptoms and reflect quite poorly on the physicians and clinics involved. As such, a focus in clinical biotechnology is to reduce iatrogenic symptoms. A study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis attempted to pinpoint the causes of iatrogenic symptoms after cancer treatment.Read More
When it comes to fighting bacteria, it’s all about understanding the enemy. Bacteria are especially good at rapidly dividing; in fact, they are more efficient than cells at self-replication. Microbiologists at the Washington University, St. Louis decided to go straight to the root of the problem and find out how to turn bacteria into zombies that can’t reproduce.
The first step in shutting down bacterial replication was determining just why bacteria are so good at it, instead of just taking the fact for granted. Petra Levin (left), associate professor of biology at WUSTL, notes that “people spoke of the bacterial cell cycle as somehow magically coordinated even though there was no mechanism for doing so. Things just somehow worked out fine even though no control system had been identified.”
Washington State University, Pullman is home to one of the top plant science research departments in the country. Plant science research is a pressing issue for today’s scientists because it affects how we respond to climate change, helps us grow enough food and protects food from pests and pathogens. It’s exciting for both WSU researchers and interested readers alike, then, that the Washington Grain Commission announced they will give $5 million in life science funding towards a new research facility expansion that will advance grain studies at Washington State University, Pullman.
“When the Washington Grain Commission asked researchers at WSU what they felt the biggest limiting factor for moving their research forward was, they told us they needed more greenhouse space,” said Washington Grain Commission Chairman Steve Claassen. “This will be a huge benefit to Washington grain growers as they will be able to plant improved varieties of wheat and barley and they will be available sooner.”Read More
When it comes to creatively solving problems in biotechnology, time and time again nature takes the cake. In our recent history, we’ve seen the University of Minnesota use the kava root to prevent lung cancer and Michigan State University take cues from a mouse to develop new anesthetics. Now researchers at University of Washington, St. Louis are looking to nature to solve a problem where biotechnology is at its wit’s end: developing an effective antibiotic.
The most deadly and contagious strain of malaria actually isn’t found in Africa- it makes its home in Southeast Asia and South America. Plasmodium vivax, as the strain is known, has been a worldwide challenge to treat and prevent. However, thanks to groundbreaking lab work from Washington University in St. Louis, researchers are developing an understanding of how this form of malaria works and what can be done against it.
Determining the causes behind Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult task. Symptoms appear seemingly without provocation, and scientists have been so far unable to pinpoint a clear reason for their onset. Now bioresearchers at Washington University at St. Louis have found a possible explanation, in the form of a gene that regulates our internal clock.
Physical adaptation is usually thought of as a very slow process. It might take a species of bird several generations to evolve a beak suited for eating fruit compared to, say, pecking wood. This change would involve the death of several birds with “incorrect” sets of genes and the survival of one type of bird with a “correct” set of genes. But what if a creature had a huge library of genes, so that they might bypass natural selection by simply expressing the right genes for their environment? That’s what researchers at Washington University at St. Louis have found occurs in the versatile fire salamander.