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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

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IGB Director Gene Robinson elected to National Academy of Medicine

[ ] Entomology professor and director of the IGB Gene Robinson, an international leader in honey bee research, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine “for pioneering…

Classifying microbes differently leads to discovery  

[ ] Changing the way microbes are classified can reveal similarities among mammals’ gut microbiomes, according to a new study. The study, published in mBio, proposed an alternative…

Success is sweet: researchers unlock the mysteries of the sugarcane genome

[ ] For centuries, sugarcane has supplied human societies with alcohol, biofuel, building and weaving materials, and the world’s most relied-upon source of sugar. Now, researchers…

Damaged liver cells undergo reprogramming to regenerate

[ ] In Greek mythology, Zeus punishes the trickster Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and sending an eagle to eat a portion of his liver every day, in perpetuity. It was the right…

Author David Quammen to speak about new book featuring Carl Woese

[ ] Science writer David Quammen will be at the University of Illinois to speak about his most recent book that features prominently the revolutionary work of microbiologist Carl R.…

Scientists search for coral’s new home

[ ] Coral reefs have long faced problems like overfishing, global warming and pollution — but they’re also threatened by how slow they regenerate. To reproduce, coral release sperm…

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms

[ ] Stiff microbial films often coat medical devices, household items and infrastructure such as the inside of water supply pipes, and can lead to dangerous infections. Researchers…

$5M DOE Grant for Energy Crops Study

[ ] Am Illinois Crop Scientist will lead a team of researchers on a five-year study of new crops that could contribute to the production of affordable, sustainable sources for market-…

Harnessing microbial communities’ division of labor for biofuel, chemical production

[ ] Much like human society, microbial communities have a division of labor. In these complex groups of microorganisms, different microbes are responsible for different tasks, such as…

Kidney stones have distinct geological histories

[ ] A geologist, a microscopist and a doctor walk into a lab and, with their colleagues from across the nation, make a discovery that overturns centuries of thought about the nature…

Unusual biosynthetic pathway offers a key to future natural product discovery

[ ] Bacteria are master engineers of small, biologically useful molecules. A new study in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06083-7) has revealed one of the tricks of…

Workshop seeks common ground in development and behavior research

[ ] A workshop held at the IGB this summer set out to bridge the gap between research in animal development and research in animal behavior. The two-day workshop brought together…

Researchers develop “cytological ruler” to build 3D map of human genome

[ ] It has been almost 20 years since the human genome was first sequenced, but researchers still know little about how the genome is folded up and organized within cells. In a new…

A professor not afraid to cross academic boundaries

[ ] Ask Ruby Mendenhall about the scope of her activities, and you’re quickly overwhelmed. Ask her to illustrate how they all connect, and you’ll soon have a page full of circles,…

New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause disease

[ ] In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a…

A unique combination of catalysts opens doors to making useful compounds

[ ] Researchers have developed a new method that aids in the process of making valuable compounds by using a unique combination of catalysts. A study published in Nature reported a…

Ancient virus defends koalas against new viral attacks

[ ] The human genome is riddled with endogenous retroviruses – little pieces of degraded and generally harmless retrovirus DNA passed down through the generations, along with our own…

Donor Spotlight: Sandra Perry Sigman

[ ] In 2009, Sandra Perry Sigman visited the University of Illinois campus with her husband David and son, Ryan. As an alumna of the School of Labor & Employment Relations…

Sequenced fox genome hints at genetic basis of behavior

[ ] For nearly 60 years, the red fox has been teaching scientists about animal behavior. In a long-term experiment, foxes at the Russian Institute of Cytology and Genetics have been…

Illinois iGEM team takes on CABBI-funded synthetic biology project

[ ] This summer, a group of undergraduate students has teamed up with CABBI researchers to pursue an ambitious research project. Their work is in preparation for the International…