Biology

Communicating the language of plants through inositol phosphates

Organisms require a variety of signalling pathways to communicate with and respond to their environment. Components such as signalling molecules function as the communicators of cellular language. Dr Imara Perera and her colleagues are investigating one group of signalling molecules, inositol phosphates and their derivatives, to understand its role in plant communication. All organisms interact with and respond to their […]

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Biology

Development of immunity in basal metazoans

Dr Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty from Florida International University (FIU), is currently conducting research that focuses on immunological priming in corals and anemones, a process by which an animal can resist pathogens through repeated, non-lethal exposure. As corals are at risk due to climate change, this is an important project to help further our understanding of their immunology. The project also includes […]

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Biology

Crossing kingdoms between plants, fungi and bacteria

Professor Teresa Pawlowska and her team from the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University have performed an in-depth study on the evolutionary genomics of the recently discovered mycoplasma-related endobacteria (MRE). They are currently in the process of investigating the complex interrelationship between these endobacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and their host – terrestrial plants. This is one of […]

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Biology

Building interdisciplinary bridges to study intercellular bridges

Dr Amy Shaub Maddox from the University of North Carolina is leading a diverse team of researchers to uncover the properties of intercellular bridges within multinucleated cells. Known as syncytia, cells with interconnected nuclei can be found in model organisms such as Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans as well as more complex organisms, including humans. Dr Maddox has also placed significant […]

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Biology

Peatlands’ past suggests fast-changing future

Minimising and mitigating the effects of global climate change rely on accurate predictions of future climate, vegetation changes, and feedbacks between the Earth and its atmosphere. Prof Sara Hotchkiss, of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Prof Robert Booth, of Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, have investigated the effects of climate change on an overlooked landscape, the kettle hole ecosystems of […]

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Biology

Synthetic cells have senses too

What defines a living cell? How to capture the molecular essence of life? These fundamental questions underpin the collaborative research programme led by Prof Allen Liu at the University of Michigan and Prof Vincent Noireaux at the University of Minnesota. The pair uses molecular components to construct prototypes of synthetic cells displaying the minimal characteristics of life. Their ‘cell analogs’ […]

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