Naegleria Genome

Chan Fulton, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Brandeis, has been for many years a pioneer in using Naegleria gruberi, a single-cell eukaryote, as a research organism. This eukaryote can differentiate from ameobae to swimming flagellates in response to environmental cues.

In a paper published this week in Cell by Chan and his co-workers, the genome sequence of this organism is revealed and analyzed. The sequence information provides new insights into metabolic diversity (aerobic-anaerobic switching) in eukaryote evolution and in the early branching in the development of signalling pathways.

Brandeis users can read the full text on the web.

Research quickies

Some of our recent publications (descriptions are mine, not the authors’)

Lau: Finding new insect viruses by sequencing small RNAs (siRNA and piRNA)

Katz Lab: Taste affects smell

Sengupta Lab: Stress early in life causes epigenetic changes in worms

HPC cluster hits milestone

Our high-performance computing cluster passed the 1000 core mark this month, thanks to computer purchases for the computational biophysics and computational neuroscience groups and infrastructure support from Library and Technology Services. I’m looking forward to another great year working with you all.

Back online

We’ve been off-line for a while, and now we’ve moved into the new version of WordPress supported by the campus IT folks. It should now be relatively easy for labs to post themselves to this blogs.

What have we missed? Well, for one, Michael Rosbash and Jeff Hall are getting the Gruber Neuroscience Prize, together with Michael Young (Rockefeller U), for their work on genetics of circadian rhythms.

I’ll post some more of the “backdated” news when I get a chance. Feel free to ask for an account so you can do it yourself…

Undergraduate authors

Brandeis is proud of its tradition of undergraduates working in science labs,  alongside grad students, staff and postdocs. This work often leads to publications in the primary scientific literature (see list of undergraduate publications).

The most recent of these, by Nicholas Hornstein and collaborators in the Griffith lab, appears in the Journal of Visualized Experiments. This new journal focuses on using streaming video to provide access to high quality demonstrations of lab procedures (in this case, demonstrating dissection technique for doing neurophysiology in Drosophila larvae).

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