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Biology

News

From left: Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Rajinikanth Mohan, Annabel Sangree '18, Thomson Tai '17, Taylor Arnoff '17.
Team Collaborates on Plant Gene Research

Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase (SHM) genes are traditionally known for their role in metabolism. They catalyze the reaction that generates carbon essential for the production of amino acids and other metabolites.  While humans have two SMHs, the plant Arabidopsis has seven of them. This summer Annabel Sangree ’18, Thomson Tai ’17 and Taylor Arnoff ’17 looked at the roles these additional genes play.  More ...

Ernest Williams
Williams Co-Authors Article on Field Mowing

An article titled “Monarch Butterflies Use Regenerating Milkweeds for Reproduction in Mowed Hayfields in Northern Virginia,” co-authored by Ernest Williams, the William R. Kenan Professor of Biology emeritus and lecturer in biology, was recently published in the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society.  More ...

Sue Ann Miller
Washington Post Cites Miller Essay

Sue Ann Miller, professor of biology emerita, unexpectedly found herself in the middle of a debate in a Washington Post opinion piece focused on whether or not the media is grading Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump on a curve. Much to her surprise, “Grading Trump on a curve, explained,” appeared on Sept. 7 on the publication’s website with the subtitle, “Are people using this metaphor correctly” along with several references to Miller’s writings.  More ...

Matt Bleich '18 and Greg Rahn with Hamilton's new atomic absorption spectrometer.
Hamilton Receives Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

Science students returned this fall to find a significant addition to the analytical capabilities of the Chemistry Department: a PerkinElmer AAnalyst 600 Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. The instrument, donated by ICON, plc, enables users to detect and quantify trace elements in water, soil and sediments, and other matrices.  More ...

Wei-Jen Chang
Chang Publishes Book Chapter

Sidney Wertimer Associate Professor for Excellence in Advising and Mentorship Wei-Jen Chang published a chapter in Biocommunication of Ciliates, released recently by Springer. “Interactions Between Parasitic Ciliates and Their Hosts: Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and Cryptocaryon irritans as Examples” was co-authored by Kassandra Zaila ’15 and Deanna Cho ’15.  More ...

Andrea Townsend
Townsend Presents at NAOC

Assistant Professor of Biology Andrea Townsend presented a talk titled “Prevalence, pathogenic potential, and fitness consequences of Campylobacter infection on migratory crows” at the 2016 meeting of the North American Ornithological Congress (NAOC) in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 17.  More ...

Coppard Co-Author of Paper in Science Advances

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Simon Coppard was a co-author of a paper titled “Formation of the Isthmus of Panama” published in the journal Science Advances on Aug. 17. The article focused on when the Isthmus of Panama actually formed, joining North and South America.  More ...

Joana Mora '18
Better Understanding Cancer

After watching the documentary Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies and having family members battle with cancer, Joana Mora’18 was determined to play a role in cancer research. This summer, under the advisement of Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Mark Sasaki, she studied cancer by looking into whether RNF43, a protein coding gene mutated in many types of cancers, is a transcriptional target of p53, a tumor suppressor gene. Understanding their relationship helps explain how various forms of cancer begin.  More ...

From left. Jonah Boucher, Jake McDougall (runner), Macy Lawler,  Elisa MacColl, Ray Schulmeyer, Henry Kang, Audrey Love and Truman Landowski.
New High-Tech Equipment for Vertebrate Physiology Lab

When Assistant Professor of Biology Cynthia Downs was awarded a Christian A. Johnson Teaching Enhancement award in November 2015, she used the grant to upgrade and expand the vertebrate physiology-teaching lab and offer students high-tech approaches to study aerobic fitness.  More ...

Olivia Box '17
A Beekeeper's Exploration

 In Germany, the rapeseed honey produced in the spring is known to have an exceptionally sweet taste, and draws a great demand in the honey market. As a beekeeper for eight years, Olivia Box ’17 did not want to miss the opportunity to learn about rapeseed honey and work with bees. This summer, she joined the research group of Sina Alizadeh and Hermann Behling at University of Göttingen in Germany. The goal of the research is to determine the efficiency of pollination at various hive placements.  More ...

Cupola