Massively parallel biology students

The list of authors for an article on the comparative genomics of a fruit fly chromosome, published online May 11 by the journal G3, includes 940 undergraduates from 63 institutions. It is the result of an effort, coordinated through Washington University in St. Louis, to provide many more students with a hands-on research experience than has traditionally been possible.

Elgin receives NSF grant for classroom research project

Sarah Elgin, PhD, Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts & Sciences, has received a $625,046 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “Effective Implementation of a Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE): Testing, Optimizing and Extending a Bioinformatics Project.”

Deep genomics: Scientists probe the epigenome

A Washington University in St. Louis team is participating in the modENCODE project, a massive ongoing effort to map all the elements in model organisms that affect whether genes are silenced or expressed. The work supports the more complex ENCODE project, which is tasked to map the same elements in the human genome. While the genome is the same in every cell, each cell type expresses a different set of genes. In people, moreover, roughly 95 percent of the genome is silenced. Together the projects will “put flesh on the bones” of the Human Genome Project, says team leader Sarah C.R. Elgin.

HHMI awards WUSTL $1.6 million for science education

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded Washington University  a 2010 Research University Grant to support the devleopment of creative, research-based courses and curricula. The university will receive $1.6 million over a period of four years/ HHMI also awarded Sarah C. R. Elgin, PhD, the Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, a long-time HHMI professor, $80,000 over four years to support her work on important problems facing science education.