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Recent News

LAEDERACH’S LAB PUBLISHES PAPER IN “JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE”

Congratulations to Lela Lackey and Katrina Kutchko (Alain Laederach’s lab) and UNC Biology undergraduate Cathleen Rueckeis, whose recent paper titled “A functional riboSNitch in the 3’UTR of FKBP5 alters microRNA-320a binding efficiency and mediates vulnerability to chronic posttraumatic pain” was published in the the Journal of Neuroscience and featured in a recent blog post by NIH director Francis Collins. In collaboration with Samuel McLean and Sarah Linnstaedt (Anesthesiology), a variant in the 3’ UTR of the FKBP5 gene was identified to be predictive of how likely pain is to persist after a traffic accident. Lela, Katrina and Cath chemically probed and modeled the RNA structure of the 3’ UTR identifying an important conformational switch regulating the affinity of a miRNA. READ MORE >> DR. COLLINS’ BLOG POST >>


GENSEL AND WEAKLEY RECEIVE NSF DIGITIZATION GRANT

Pat Gensel and Alan Weakley received a 3 year NSF grant (Advanced Digitization of Biological Collections) to digitize parts of the critical fossil collections (all non-seed producing plant fossils) of Pat Gensel, as well as extant fern and lycophyte components of the UNC Herbarium (a unit of the NC Botanical Garden located in Coker Hall). The grant, Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Pteridological Collections Consortium: An integrative approach to pteridophyte diversity over the last 420 million years, is a multi-institutional collaborative, led by U Cal Berkeley, with 8 collaborating institutions (UNC being one) and up to 30 associated institutions, forming the Pteridological Collections Consortium. The project focuses on integrating fossil (deep time) and extant data about ferns and lycophytes that will enable researchers to better address the ecology, biogeography, and evolution (characters and genes) of these plant groups through time, from the Devonian to the present and to develop greater public appreciation of these plants and topics. The images and data will be served in a new portal, representing the first such consortium to integrate fossil and living plant data in one database. The NSF-ADBC grant is the 4th over the last 7 years that the UNC Herbarium (the largest in the southeastern United States) has received. The work facilitates research, collaboration, and conservation by vastly increasing the accessibility to researchers and the public of the mass of data held in herbaria like UNC’s. UNC HERBARIUM WEBSITE >>


ANN MATTHYSSE PUBLISHES IN “CURRENT TOPICS IN MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY”

Congratulations to Ann Matthysse, whose article “Exopolysaccharides of Agrobacterium tumefaciens” recently appeared in Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology. “The review series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology provides a synthesis of the latest research findings in the areas of molecular immunology, bacteriology and virology.” [Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2018 Jul 11. doi: 10.1007/82_2018_100.] READ MORE >>


HAVEN WILEY HAS FOUR ONLINE PAPERS PUBLISHED

Haven Wiley, Professor Emeritus of Biology, has just published four articles online in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Sciences edited by T. Shackelford and V. Weekes-Shackelford, which will appear in print by Springer in 2019. These articles describe how noise in communication and perception affect basic processes of cognition in all animals including humans.  READ ARTICLE 1: “EVOLUTION OF COMMUNICATION” >>   READ ARTICLE 2:“DESIGN FEATURES OF LANGUAGE” >>  READ ARTICLE 3: “EVOLUTION OF FREE WILL” >>  READ ARTICLE 4: “EVOLUTION AND SELF AWARENESS” >>


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