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Congratulations to Dr. Michael Levin, who received a $1.86M grant award from DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, for a proposal he submitted earlier this year titled "Somatic computation via bioelectricity for novel life-time learning machines." Dr. Levin was the primary investigator for this grant, and he collaborated with two co-investigators: Josh Bongard (University of Vermont) and Sara Walker (Arizona State University). Learn more about this DARPA program >
MD/PhD candidate Alex Neil in the Mirkin lab, found that mutations in the flap endonuclease (Rad27/FEN1) result in the dramatic increase in (GAA)n repeat expansions in vivo, which led him to propose a new mechanism for repeat instability involving lagging-strand template-switch during DNA replication. This work was done in collaboration with the Tainer labs at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Grasby lab at University of Sheffield and the Hamdan lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Learn more >
Former Graduate Student Allen Su and Professor Catherine Freudenreich, of the Tufts Department of Biology, recently published the following paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the paper, Su and Freudenreich show that that R-loop-induced deamination of cytosines is responsible for causing chromosomal breaks at an expanded CAG repeat sequence, as well as loss of repeat units (contractions). R-loops are structures that form when transcribed RNA remains bound to its DNA template to form a stable RNA:DNA hybrid. Expanded CAG repeat tracts are the cause of several human diseases, including Huntington’s disease and myotonic muscular dystrophy. Su and Freudenreich were able to show that the repeat contractions were caused by base excision repair, a pathway used in other circumstances to repair damaged DNA bases. Intriguingly, the R-loop dependent double-strand breaks were caused by the MutL gamma endonuclease, which is known to recognize structured DNA and cause nicks, defining a new mechanism for how R-loops can generate DNA breaks. The results have implications for human repeat expansion diseases and provide a paradigm for how RNA:DNA hybrids can cause genome instability at structure-forming DNA sequences. Read the paper >
Congratulations to Michael Romero, who has received a five year NSF award "ABR: Melding Mathematical and Theoretical Models of Stress" totaling $1,025,381!
Welcome to Biology. Norah Warchola is a new lecturer in the Department of Biology, where she has been a part-time lecturer since 2016. She received her B.S. in biology and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Stony Brook University. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard and at Tufts, studying Fender's blue butterfly and Bartram's Scrub-Hairstreak butterfly. A member of the Ecological Society of America, she has published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and the Journal of Insect Conservation.
"When we factored in climate change along with all the other threats to shorebirds, we found that 47 of the 49 species we evaluated were at a higher risk of extinction than scientists previously believed," says Michael Reed, a professor of conservation biology at Tufts University. Scientists and conservationists team up to protect imperiled migratory shorebirds. Read more >
Rachel Bonoan, PhD Student looks for clues into honey bee colony declines using hives on the Grafton Campus.
Well done to Gina Mantica, a PhD Student who recently had an article published in the Boston Globe. The article is a result of a science communication workshop that she attended this summer.
Congratulations to Prof. Elizabeth Crone, who has recently been invited to become an external member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She was invited to accept the nomination as an external member in recognition of her outstanding academic merits.
New Weapon to Fight Dangerous Infections
Congratulations to everyone, Tufts Biology was ranked 3rd in the nation by College Factual.
Congratulations to Fallon Durant and Dr. Michael Levin, whose research has just come out in New Scientist. Fallon's paper also got the cover of the issue, featuring a homage to M. C. Escher's art. Also key contributors from our department were Junji Morokuma, Kate Williams, and Dany Adams.
Congratulations to Dr. Eric Tytell, whose NSF Career award "BIOMAPS: Comparative analysis of locomotor biomechanics and control in fishes" got funded in the amount of $910K for the next five years. This prestigious award is a testament of Eric's recognition by the scientific community.
Congratulations to Dr. Ben Wolfe, whose research proposal for NSF MCB Systems and Synthetic Biology was approved for funding.
Prof. Ben Wolfe received a grant from National Institute of Food and Agriculture/USDA totaling $387,783 to study "Linking patterns with processes in phyllosphere microbiome assembly".
Prof. Mimi Kao together with Prof. Ani Patel from Department of Psychology were selected to receive a Tufts collaborates grant.
Congratulations to graduate student Kaylinnette Pinet who presented her research at a conference sponsored by the Society for Developmental Biology (Woods Hole, MA). Her poster was awarded first prize in the graduate poster award competition.
New research led by Tufts University shows that the
invasive European paper wasp, Polistes
dominulus, plays a role in facilitating sour
rot disease in the absence of other insects.
Congratulations to Simran Kausha, who has been selected to receive 2017 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education Award.
Congratulations to Mitch McVey, who has been selected to receive 2017 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Mentoring Award.Dr. Levin and Allen Discovery Center at Tufts use artificial intelligence to gain insight into the biophysics of cancer
Artificial intelligence uncovers new insight into biophysics of cancer. Read more >
Professors Levin and Adams publish new book
2016 List of 10 Top Science Books
Tufts researchers uncover possible source of genetic
error behind a dozen debilitating diseases
Two McLaughlin Lab research
assistants won first prize and Graduate student gives talk
Two Lily Glidden Award Recipients Named
The Lily Glidden Award
The Russell L. Carpenter Fund for Teaching and Research in
The Department of Biology published
the first edition of its Newsletter
Congratulations to Mitch McVey for his promotion to the Full Professor rank.
Dr. Ben Wolfe was selected to be the Bernstein Faculty Fellow for 2016-2017!
Dr. Sara Lewis' opinion piece, "Are fireflies flickering out?" featured by CNN.
Michael Reed's groundbreaking studies featured
Professor Sara Lewis' first book, "Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies" was published by Princeton University Press. For centuries, the beauty of fireflies has evoked wonder and delight. Yet for most of us, fireflies remain shrouded in mystery: how do fireflies make their light? What are they saying with all that flashing? And what do fireflies seek in a mate? Written for a general audience, this beautifully illustrated book uncovers the science behind the spectacle, revealing remarkable stories of passionate romance, treachery, and deadly poisons among these stunning ambassadors for Earth's natural magic.
NuA4 initiates dynamic histone H4 acetylation to promote
high-fidelity sister chromatid recombination at post-replication
gaps. Nealia C.M. House, Jiahui Yang, Stephen Walsh, Jonathan Moy,
C.H. Freudenreich (2014). Molecular Cell Sept. 18, 55(6). doi:
10.1016/j.molcel.2014.07.007. PMID: 25132173.
Tytell, E.D., Hsu, C.-Y., and Fauci, L.J. (2013). The role of mechanical resonance in the neural control of swimming in fish. Zoology in press. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2013.10.011
Lobo, D., Solano, M., and Bubenik, G. A., (2014), A linear-encoding model explains the variability of the target morphology in regeneration, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11: 20130918
Lobikin, M., and Levin, M., (2014), Endogenous bioelectric cues as morphogenetic signals in vivo, chapter 15 in The Fields of Cells, edited by D. Fels and M. Cifra, in press
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