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biological sciences Archives

Today’s budding yeasts shed traits from their 400-million-year-old ancestor

Nov. 8, 2018—Evolutionary biologists decoded the genomes of nearly a third of known budding yeast species, allowing them to reconstruct an ancient parent’s metabolic characteristics.

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Karate kicks keep cockroaches from becoming zombies, wasp chow

Oct. 31, 2018—Far from being a weak-willed sap easily paralyzed by the emerald jewel wasp’s sting to the brain, the cockroach can deliver a stunning karate kick that saves its life, biologist Ken Catania has found.

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Why does it take humans so long to mature compared to other animals? Look to your neurons!

Oct. 30, 2018—How long humans and other warm-blooded animals live—and when they reach sexual maturity—may have more to do with neurons in their cortex than body size or mass, according to new research by Associate Professor of Psychology Suzana Herculano-Houzel.

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Two proteins slow down the train of DNA replication in Drosophila

Oct. 29, 2018—This work was the foundation for an NSF grant to interrogate how the Rif1 protein controls DNA replication.

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Studying cellular deliveries

Oct. 26, 2018—James Patton and colleagues have demonstrated how colon cancer cells transmit genetic data to other cells.

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High-speed atomic force microscopy reveals clock protein interactions

Aug. 20, 2018—Prof. Carl Johnson and his team discovered on-and-off interactions between KaiA and KaiC take only seconds but combine to create a 24-hour oscillation of phosphorylation in a test tube.

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New committee advances research through limited submission opportunities

Aug. 16, 2018—Twenty faculty members have been appointed to the new Limited Submission Opportunities Plus review committee to help bring innovative research to the attention of external sponsors.

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Oak Ridge and Vanderbilt come together to explore cellular processes

Jul. 5, 2018—Vanderbilt University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are combining their expertise in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computation to address pressing problems in biology.

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Abbot’s new book is ‘one-stop destination’ on animal social evolution

Jun. 8, 2018—Patrick Abbot, associate professor of biological sciences, recently published an edited volume entitled "Comparative Social Evolution," an updated companion book to E.O. Wilson’s famous 1975 tome.

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Building the tiniest recording studios in Music City to understand vocal learning

Jun. 4, 2018—Humans aren't the only animals who can learn vocal communication from others. By studying the process in zebra finches, we may better understand how it works in humans, too.

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Insect gene allows reproductive organs to cope with harmful bacteria

May. 17, 2018—Bordenstein’s team studied Nasonia parasitic wasps, which are about the size of a sesame seed, and they serve as one of the best models to dissect and characterize the evolution of insect genomes.

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Unraveling genetic mystery next step in Zika and dengue fight

Apr. 23, 2018—How a bacteria hijacked insect fertility remained a mystery for five decades, until Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Seth Bordenstein and his team helped solve it.

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