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Biology Research News


Prof. Gelvin attends NSF PI's meeting
2022-09-21

September 8-9, 2022. Professor Gelvin attended the NSF Plant Genome Research Program PI’s meeting at NSF headquarters, Arlington, VA. He presented a poster entitled “TRTech-PGR: Ensifer-mediated Transformation as an Alternative to Agrobacterium-mediated Transformation of Model Plants and Crops” and consulted with colleagues.

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RESEARCH ARTICLE FORENSICS LEAD TO FINDS OF MISCONDUCT

RESEARCH ARTICLE FORENSICS LEAD TO FINDS OF MISCONDUCT
2022-09-07

In a major news article, Nature magazine describes how an investigation prompted by "data sleuth" David Sanders and conducted by the Ohio State University has led to findings of research misconduct against two researchers.

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Purdue University researchers aim to develop an advanced online tool to protect the US from invasive agricultural pests

Purdue University researchers aim to develop an advanced online tool to protect the US from invasive agricultural pests
2022-08-31

Purdue researchers are to start a project in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Plant Protection and Quarantine, Science and Technology Identification Technology Program (ITP). The goal of this two-year project is to develop an easy-to-use online tool to detect and identify mite pests of agricultural crops for non-experts.

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Cryo-EM structures of prion protein filaments from Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker disease
2022-07-15

Prion protein (PrP) aggregation and formation of PrP amyloid (APrP) are central events in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. In the dominantly inherited prion protein amyloidosis known as Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker (GSS) disease, plaques made of PrP amyloid are present throughout the brain. The c.593t > c mutation in the prion protein gene (PRNP) results in a phenylalanine to serine amino acid substitution at PrP residue 198 (F198S) and causes the most severe amyloidosis among GSS variants.

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Scientists must inform the public – but not by claiming false certainty

Scientists must inform the public – but not by claiming false certainty
2022-05-17

Journalists and fact-checkers must be reminded that scientific concepts can be hard to render in language that is both simple and true. From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, my expertise on emerging viruses has been sought by the media. Sometimes I will be quoted in an article, but I often avoid taking sides on issues that I believe are unresolved, so my statements don’t always make good copy. Still, I frequently recognize my input in the general background statements made by journalists. To paraphrase John Stuart Mill’s inaugural rectorial address to the University of St Andrews, “bad articles need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing”.

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Largest worldwide Tourette syndrome genetics and neuroimaging study also promises insight into related disorders

Largest worldwide Tourette syndrome genetics and neuroimaging study also promises insight into related disorders
2022-05-16

Researchers have been working to find a cause and cure for Tourette syndrome since the neurological disorder was first documented in 1885. Purdue University’s progress in that work in recent years is now being rewarded with a $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for further TS research. Peristera Paschou, professor of biological sciences and associate dean for graduate education and strategic initiatives for the College of Science, is the principal investigator for the new grant. She already is leading several worldwide TS research collaborations and is supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In 2017, she was a senior co-author on a groundbreaking international study that became the first in the world to identify risk genes for TS. She then led a large-scale study in 2021 that shed light on the common genetic basis of TS and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Epigenetic regulator explains why some lung cancer patients become resistant to common therapeutics

Epigenetic regulator explains why some lung cancer patients become resistant to common therapeutics
2022-05-16

Doctors typically treat people with nonsmall cell lung cancer, a prevalent and typically incurable type of cancer that makes up 80%-85% of lung cancers, with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, specifically epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors. About 15%-20% of these patients will become resistant to these standard treatments, resulting in their eventual death. Researchers understand part of the reason for this: The cells develop a mutation that leads to resistance. But about half of those resistant patients remain unexplained. Andrea Kasinski, a cellular biologist, and her lab have discovered that some of the explanation is epigenetic.

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Academics’ unscientific assertions on Covid are exacerbating division

Academics’ unscientific assertions on Covid are exacerbating division
2022-01-10

The pandemic has demonstrated that there are broad deficiencies in quantitative reasoning skills even within the academy, says David Sanders. As if the direct effects of Covid-19 on public health were not bad enough, the pandemic has also been exploited as an opportunity to advance many socially corrosive agendas. These include xenophobia, science rejection, conspiracy-theory propagation, cultism, antidemocratic agitation, antivaccination propagandising and generalised fearmongering.

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A new potential treatment for night blindness

A new potential treatment for night blindness
2021-07-19

Leung lab discovered a drug approved by the FDA for treating heart failure may also work for night blindness.

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Sanders Participates in BARDA Mask Innovation Challenge

Sanders Participates in BARDA Mask Innovation Challenge
2021-06-14

Professor David Sanders participated as a judge in the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Midwest Regional Mask Innovation Challenge on May 19, 2021. "The Mask Innovation Challenge aims to improve the comfort, utility, and protective capabilities of products that are worn during day-to-day activities by the general public when physical distancing is not possible. This competition is designed to support the development of mask designs that meet defined performance standards while also overcoming barriers to use." The Purdue Research Innovation Accelerator was an organizer.

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Common genetic variants link autism, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome

Common genetic variants link autism, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome
2021-02-05

Genetic variants that contribute to autism may also be involved in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette syndrome, according to a new study.

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Adaptation to freshwater and hatchery environments in Atlantic salmon

Adaptation to freshwater and hatchery environments in Atlantic salmon
2021-01-14

Atlantic salmon populations are declining throughout their native range, which historically stretched from Long Island Sound, New York to northern Québec in the western Atlantic Ocean.

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Contrary to a long-held belief, zebrafish larvae can see with their rod photoreceptors

Contrary to a long-held belief, zebrafish larvae can see with their rod photoreceptors
2020-10-26

Leung lab revisited a long-standing notion in zebrafish vision

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How to minimize the impacts of sensory pollution on animals

How to minimize the impacts of sensory pollution on animals
2020-05-04

A recent paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution proposed a novel theoretical framework to identify the mechanisms behind sensory pollution (masking, distracting, misleading).

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Pancreatic cancer 'time machine’ exposes plot twist in cell growth and invasion

Pancreatic cancer 'time machine’ exposes plot twist in cell growth and invasion
2020-02-13

Invasive cancer sprouts from an artificial pancreatic duct engineered by Purdue University researchers. The cell bodies are stained magenta and the nuclei are stained blue. (Purdue University image/Stephanie Venis, Hye-ran Moon and Bumsoo Han)

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The road not taken: host infection status influences parasite host-choice

The road not taken: host infection status influences parasite host-choice
2020-01-15

Two roads diverged in a green pond And some parasites take the road less parasitized

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HIV chromatin is a preferred target for drugs that bind in the DNA minor groove

HIV chromatin is a preferred target for drugs that bind in the DNA minor groove
2020-01-15

The major challenge in current HIV research is the development of methods to eliminate the replication competent HIV provirus that has integrated as a double stranded DNA molecule within the host cell chromatin. This viral reservoir is activated upon session of antiviral drug therapy giving rise to new rounds of replication and the resumption of active infection. CRISPR/Cas9-based HIV-1/AIDS therapeutic strategies have been suggested as the best way to inactivate the HIV sequences in the genome but recent studies have shown that nucleosomes can strongly inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 targeting and cleavage efficiency. Our recent studies provide a way to circumvent this limitation.

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Luo Lab research published in the EMBO Journal

Luo Lab research published in the EMBO Journal
2020-01-07

Ubiquitination involved in the attachment of the 76-residue ubiquitin protein to target proteins play essential roles in many cellular processes, particularly immunity.

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Could Anthrax Help Fight Bladder Cancer?

Could Anthrax Help Fight Bladder Cancer?
2019-11-13

Anthrax may soon help more people win the fight against bladder cancer, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says strikes about 72,000 Americans each year and kills about 16,000, and is one of the most expensive cancers to treat.

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Risky business: Frogs’ mating calls also attract predators

Risky business: Frogs’ mating calls also attract predators
2019-11-12

Frogs have been struggling a bit in recent years. Their populations around the world have been declining for decades, and the reasons for their loss come from many fronts. In the túngara frog — a tiny native of Middle, Central and South America — disease, predation and communication are intricately intertwined. Parasites are transmitted by midges, which find their way to frogs by “intercepting” their mating calls.

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