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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

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University of Illinois awarded $8M from NIH to study nuclear structure

[ ] For years genome-mapping technology has understood DNA as a linear code, but that’s not how it exists in the cell: it’s tangled up in 3D inside the nucleus, with higher- and lower…

Straight up, with a twist: New model derives homochirality

[ ] Life is quirky. Although the molecules that make up all living things obey physical and chemical laws, they do so with a puzzling twist. How did the distinctive molecular features…

Brains work via their genes just as much as their neurons

[ ] It’s not headline news that our brains are the seat of our thoughts and feelings. The brain is a body’s decision-maker, the pilot of its actions and the engineer that keeps all…

Donald Ort

[ ] Donald Ort, Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology (Genomic Ecology of Global Change theme leader) has been named to the Agricultural Research Service Science Hall of Fame, for…

Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

[ ] A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable…

Vijay Singh

[ ] Vijay Singh, Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (Genomic Ecology of Global Change) has been named a University Scholar, a program created to recognize the…

It’s time to stop thinking in terms of food versus fuel

[ ] Whether you have taken a side or a backseat in the discussion, the “food versus fuel” debate affects us all. Some say growing more biofuel crops today will decrease greenhouse gas…

Genome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four years

[ ] It took two postdoctoral researchers, a lab technician, four undergraduates and their faculty advisors only four years – a blink of an eye in pharmaceutical terms – to scour a…

Before nature selects, gene networks steer a course for evolution

[ ] Natural selection is a race to reproduce, a competition between individuals with varying traits that helps direct the evolution of a species. As scientists begin to explore the…

New synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realistic

[ ] Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor…

Illinois researchers build genomic platform to further understand E. coli

[ ] In August 2015, three children in three separate northern Indiana counties were sickened by Escherichia coli O157:H7, and one of them died. Bacterial outbreaks like these send…

Douglas Mitchell

[ ] Douglas Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (Mining Microbial Genomes) received the National Fresenius Award, administered by the American Chemical Society. The award…

Princess Imoukhuede

[ ] Princess Imoukhuede, Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering (Regenerative Biology & Tissue Engineering) was named a 2015 Young Innovator of Cellular and Molecular…

Chill-Tolerant Hybrid Sugarcane Grows at Lower Temperatures

[ ] U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid…

Genomes Tell Story of Native American Biological Origins

[ ] The first human inhabitants of the Americas lived in a time thousands of years before the first written records, and the story of their transcontinental migration is the subject…

MoveSense App Makes Cellphone A Monitor for Heart and Lung Patients

[ ] Patients suffering from chronic cardiopulmonary diseases could soon have a solution to help them accurately monitor their health and warn doctors at the first sign of trouble. By…

Increasing Crop Productivity Through More Efficient, Better Neighbor Plants

[ ] How can we meet the accelerating food needs of the world’s population, without increasing the amount of land used for farming? By making plants better neighbors, and borrowing…

Camp Participants Forecast Bright Future for Women in Plant Science

[ ] Last week’s cloudy skies and frequent rain contributed to an unusually wet central Illinois summer, but could not dampen the enthusiasm for science displayed by 24 middle school…

Evolutionary Trees Reveal Patterns of Microbial Diversification

[ ] While teaching a class on coarse-graining methods in physics, James O’Dwyer realized that the technique could be used to understand how microbes evolve over time. The results,…

Illinois receives $1.8M to create data platform for Big Data in plant breeding

[ ] Historically, successful trait selection in plant breeding has involved manual measurement of individual plants. This requirement limits the number of plants that can be evaluated…