Even in the tailspin of a winter and spring the Midwest won't easily forget, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (UMN) scientists celebrate their accomplishments, students ride their bikes to shiny new green buildings on campus, and families look forward to a day in the park hunting for bugs. It's May in the Twin Cities, and these are some of the highlights at UMN:
- Genome Sequencing Success for Agriculture
- $10M NIH Grant for HIV Research
- New Science Building and Student Center
- BioBlitz 2011 Announcement
In the world of plant pathology, UMN researchers Les Szabo, Marty Carson, and their international colleagues announced they have sequenced the genomes of two wily, destructive fungal rust pathogens that threaten wheat and tree crops. Research was carried out at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service Cereal Disease Lab on the St. Paul campus. The data, collected since 2004, is now available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information GenBank, the NIH's genetic database.
At the College of Biological Sciences, Professor Reuben Harris has secured a 5-year, $10 million NIH grant to study a human antiviral protein with potential as a treatment for HIV and other serious viruses. Harris' research is unique in its approach: instead of looking at the virus itself, he looks at the body's antibody defense system to see how it can be boosted to combat the disease. With the grant, The Harris Lab (their photo, left) will carry out its research in five interrelated teams:
- Molecular virology
- NMR spectroscopy
- X-ray crystallography
With a glorious view over the Mississippi River and super energy-efficient systems, UMN's new Science Teaching and Student Services building demonstrates in its design its 21st Century science philosophy:
Fluidity and Structure. Transparency and Opacity. Sustainability and Science.
While it is increasingly common for new university buildings to attempt to meet LEED green standards, it is rare and impressive to be awarded Gold-level certification as this science building has.
And for those who don't get enough science in their diet during the work week, there's the 24-hour Minnesota BioBlitz coming up Friday, June 10th at 5pm and going to 5pm Saturday. At this popular annual event, researchers and everyday folks go on a marathon hunt to identify as many plants and animals (bugs included) in the designated Study Area, which varies from year to year. BioBlitz is sponsored by UMN's Bell Museum of Natural History, along with Macalester College and the National Park Service.
How many species do you think there are in YOUR backyard?
If you are a researcher or lab supplier in the Twin Cities area, plan on attending or exhibiting at the Biotechnology Calendar Inc. Minneapolis BioResearch Product Faire event on July 28, 2011 or the St. Paul BioResearch Product Faire Front Line event July 29.If you are a research professional and interested in attending our UNR vendor shows you can register today for these events.
For science supply companies interested in exhibiting at either or both of these events, more vendor show information and university funding statistics are available when you click on the buttons below.