Jenny Liu has been selected to receive the 2016 Harrison D. Stalker Award from the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. The award is recognizes students whose undergraduate careers combine outstanding scientific scholarship with significant contributions in the arts and humanities.
The Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences has awarded this year’s Spector Prize to Vita Jaspan. The annual award recognizes academic excellence and outstanding undergraduate achievement in research.
The Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences has selected Shyam Akula as the inaugural recipient of the Quatrano Prize, which will be awarded annually for the most creative biology thesis project.
As scientists look for replacements for our dwindling stock of antibiotics, the evolution of resistance is never far from their minds. Washington University in St. Louis biologist R. Fredrik Inglis explored the ability of bacteria to become resistant to a toxin called a bacteriocin by growing them for many generations in the presence of the toxin.
Genes inherited from mothers (matrigenes) and fathers (patrigenes) usually work harmoniously in the offspring. However, kin selection theory predicts these genes may be in conflict in interactions among relatives in which they are unequally represented (half-siblings). In honey bees, patrigenes are predicted to favor daughters that lay eggs themselves rather than remaining sterile and rearing their half-sisters’ offspring. An experimental test bears out this prediction.
Arpita Bose, PhD, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been named a Packard Fellow, a prestigious distinction awarded to only 18 top young researchers nationwide this year. Bose plans to use the grant to work with unusual microbes that can take electrons directly from an outside source to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide or make sustainable biofuels.
Mike Dyer, supervisor of the greenhouse on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, has the job many of us probably wish we had — but only because we think he spends the day pottering around watering plants. Instead, his job requires everything from the mechanical and engineering skills needed to suppress the greenhouse’s voracious appetite for energy; extensive knowledge of insects; and the ability to grow any plant he is handed under the conditions specified. It’s not exactly relaxing, but he enjoys it that way.
Falling back is easier on us than springing forward, says Erik Herzog, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis who has devoted his career to studying body clocks and circadian rhythms. But it is never a good idea to force our body clocks to follow abrupt changes in mechanical clocks. We should get rid of daylight savings time, Herzog says.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded David Fike, PhD, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, $2.4 million to adapt a powerful chemical microscope called the 7F-GEO SIMS for biological samples. The updated instrument’s ability to map the chemistry inside cells will boost research on microbes that are promising candidates for biofuel or bioenergy production.
A bacterial infection turns non-farming social amoebae into farmers, Washington University evolutionary biologists report in the Aug. 24 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.