The CRISPR Revolution

Posted 1 year 7 months ago

The hottest new area of scientific investigation, moving forward thanks to the work of UGA faculty and graduate students, is featured in the current issue of UGA Research magazine:

a recently developed gene-editing tool commonly known by the acronym CRISPR, which makes it possible to snip out and replace segments of DNA inside the cells of living organisms with extraordinary precision. The technology is only about three years old, but it’s both easier and cheaper than other gene editing techniques, and it is quickly taking the scientific world by storm.

So great is the...

Searching for clues in neural tube defects

Posted 1 year 7 months ago
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Geneticist Jian-Fu Chen's project to understand why neural tube defects, the second most common birth defect in humans, occur recently gained new support from the National Institutes of Health:

The neural tube becomes the brain and spinal cord in a developing embryo. The defect occurs when a neural plate folds into a tube during an embryo's development, explained Chen, who works in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences' genetics department.

When the tube doesn't fully close, it results in defects like spina bifida, which can result in severe disabilities like paralysis of...

How plants respond to climate change

Posted 1 year 9 months ago

Jill Anderson, an assistant professor of genetics, has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Program to study the effects of climate change on plants. Among the NSF's most prestigious, CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar and the integration of education and research:

Anderson's project tests whether plants will be able to survive on a warming planet by using a mustard plant species called Drummond's rockcress as a model. Native to the Rocky Mountains, Drummond's rockcress can grow at...

Hollander presents research at Posters on the Hill

Posted 1 year 10 months ago
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CRISPR-associated proteins are some of the most promising new tools providing a way to make gene deletions, corrections of mutations and additions of new genes in any genome. Outstanding undergraduate researcher Erin Hollander, a junior Honors student majoring in biochemistry and genetics, was one of 60 presenters selected out of hundreds of applicants from institutions across the country to present her research at the nation's capital during the 20th annual Posters on the Hill event held in Washington, D.C., on April 19-20.

Posters on the Hill highlights exceptional undergraduate...

Beetles and the genetics of parenthood

Posted 2 years 4 months ago
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Most insects do not care for their young. But burying beetles take an extraordinarily active role - preparing food, protecting the brood and even feeding their offspring much in the same way that a bird feeds its hatchlings. New research published in the journal Nature Communications has identified many of the genetic changes that take place in burying beetles as they assume the role of parent:

"Parenting is a complex trait, but it's particularly complex in burying beetles," said the study's co-author Allen Moore, a Distinguished Research Professor of Genetics in UGA's Franklin...