research

Researchers identify gene to improve plant yield, growth for biofuels

Posted 3 months 1 week ago
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A research team led by professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Debra Mohnen has discovered that manipulation of the same gene in poplar trees and switchgrass produced plants that grow better and are more efficiently converted to biofuels:

Due to the composition of plant cell walls, plant material is not efficiently broken down or deconstructed to the basic sugars that are converted to biofuels.

In a paper published today in Nature Biotechnology, the researchers report that reducing the activity of a specific gene called GAUT4 leads to lower levels of pectin, a...

Leaning into the Plastics Problem

Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
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Once considered the key to all manner of convenience, practicality and profit, plastics turn out to be one of most dangerous and long-lasting pollutants to the natural environment. Georgia Magazine takes a look at how UGA faculty researchers are working to approach the problem from many angles, including the development of new materials with industry partners:

Jason Locklin, an associate professor in UGA’s chemistry department, had a related question: Why aren’t we considering what happens to products once they’ve outlived their purpose? Inspired by Jambeck’s 2015 paper in Science,...

UGA to partner in new humanities grant for archeological study

Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
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An international research team that includes assistant professor of anthropology and geography Suzanne Pilaar Birch has been awarded Arts and Humanities Research Council UK funding for their four-year project on Radical Death and Early State Formation in the Ancient Near East. 

Using new evidence from the Early Bronze Age graves of Başur Höyük, on the Upper Tigris, the project will examine how ritual killing was implicated in the political transformations of the third millennium BC.

The basis for this study is an original analysis of human remains from the site’s funerary...

Joye featured in Planet Earth: Blue Planet II

Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago
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Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences Samantha Joye is featured in the new BBC documentary series, Planet Earth: Blue Planet II:

Presented by Sir David Attenborough and scored by Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer, Planet Earth: Blue Planet II takes viewers on a revelatory and magical journey into the mesmerizing world of our oceans — by turn tempestuous and serene, exquisitely beautiful and bleakly forbidding. They cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and hold 97% of all the water in the world. There is more life in the deep sea than anywhere else on Earth,...

Study offers new insight into brain architecture and function

Posted 4 months 3 days ago
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Great collaboration from computer science and engineering faculty:

The researchers in UGA’s College of Engineering and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ department of computer science say their study is the first to identify specific areas they call “three hinges.” They believe these junctions of three ridges along the brain’s surface play an important role in how the brain forms as well as how it works.

“The traditional way of describing brain structure assumes the creases and folds of the cortex perform similar functions,” said Xianqiao Wang, an assistant professor...

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