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Science News Releases

U of I and INBRE Researchers to Study Coronavirus Variants

Posted Thu, 29 Jul 2021 13:31:00 -0700

MOSCOW, Idaho — July 29, 2021 — The Idaho INBRE higher education network and the University of Idaho will sequence COVID-19 samples and study coronavirus variants in the Moscow population in hopes of preparing for and preventing future outbreaks thanks to a $737,000 grant from National Institutes of Health. Read more

After Two Decades, U of I’s INBRE Program Has Attracted $170M For Student Research

Posted Wed, 21 Jul 2021 12:02:00 -0700

MOSCOW, Idaho — July 21, 2021 — Over the past two decades, more than $170 million has been generated for biomedical research in Idaho’s state and private colleges and universities thanks to a network administered by the University of Idaho called INBRE. Read more

New Idaho Landslide Inventory Database to Assist with Hazard Mitigation

Posted Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:18:00 -0700

MOSCOW, Idaho — June 29, 2021 — The Idaho Geological Survey (IGS) has released a new statewide inventory of landslides that will assist emergency managers and planners with hazard mitigation and identification of problematic hot spots. Read more

Revealing Ancient Secrets: 1,000 Years of Tree Rings in Yellowstone Show Recent Climate Warming Trend

Posted Wed, 02 Jun 2021 14:06:00 -0700

This story by Jerry Painter appeared in the Idaho State Journal on May 31. Like careful note-takers during the past 1,250 years, Engelmann spruce trees high in the Yellowstone National Park backcountry have left behind a record of how harsh summer temperatures have been. A new study of living and dead tree ring samples, applying new technology, reveals that the past 20 years in Yellowstone have been the hottest in 1,250 years. The new temperature record was cross-referenced with the shorter instrumental records of the national park that are available since 1905. The millennium-long record was gathered by a group of researchers from the University of Idaho led by dendrochronologist Karen Heeter. Read more

A U of I-Led Study Identifies a Protein That Saves Cells From Formaldehyde Toxicity

Posted Fri, 28 May 2021 11:54:00 -0700

Normal cellular processes give rise to toxins, like formaldehyde, that cells must mitigate. Bacteria that feed on methanol, like Methylorubrum extorquens, produce a lot of formaldehyde. A U of I-led study published in PLOS Biology identified a protein that acts as a kill-switch, binding to formaldehyde and leading to a rapid cessation in growth and protein production. This protein, named EfgA, is the first formaldehyde sensor ever discovered in bacteria that eat methanol as food and is found nearly universally among bacteria with this metabolic capacity. Read more

U of I-Led Study Finds Ongoing Evolution in Tasmanian Devils’ Response to Transmissible Cancer

Posted Wed, 26 May 2021 09:49:00 -0700

MOSCOW, Idaho — May 26, 2021 — University of Idaho researchers partnered with other scientists from the United States and Australia to study the evolution of Tasmanian devils in response to a unique transmissible cancer. Read more

Jagdish Patel and Colleagues Identify Natural Product That Inhibits Cancer Cells

Posted Wed, 19 May 2021 13:29:00 -0700

U of I molecular modeler Jagdish Patel worked with Canadian scientists to identify a natural product from actinomycete extracts that might be useful in combating cancer. They focused on various actinomycete, a type of bacteria often used in the bioremediation of water or soil that has been polluted, and published their work in Cell Chemical Biology. They identified one compound that selectively targets and inhibits cancer stem cells over normal stem cells as well as the chemical pathway the natural product influences. Read more

U of I Researcher to Study STIs Using Biomimetic Models of the Female Reproductive Tract

Posted Tue, 27 Apr 2021 15:25:00 -0700

Larry Forney from the Department of Biological Sciences will take part in a five-year grant of $7,875,379 that was awarded to an interdisciplinary team that also includes researchers from the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia and the University of Delaware. The project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to develop innovative biomimetic models of the lower reproductive tract of women to study aspects of the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by chlamydia and gonorrhea that are not achievable in humans or with the animal and cell models currently available. The ultimate impact of this research will be to improve public health by reducing the incidence of STIs in humans. Read more

Campus Can Crushers Recycle More Than 81,500 Cans Across U of I Campus

Posted Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:13:00 -0700

This story by Lynsey Amundson was published by KIVI-TV in Boise on April 15. MOSCOW — With a grant from the University of Idaho biology engineer student, Addie White, created "Campus Can Crushers" to help Idaho become more recycle friendly. “They are highly durable metal can crushers in the shape of university logos," White said. "It’s a project I started at the University of Idaho because our recycling program was cut.” Read more

Two U of I Students Will Receive Prestigious Goldwater Research Scholarships

Posted Wed, 07 Apr 2021 13:54:00 -0700

MOSCOW, Idaho — April 7, 2021 — Two University of Idaho students were selected from a pool of 5,000 candidates nationwide to receive the prestigious Goldwater scholarship for the upcoming academic year. Read more

Idaho medical students match with residency programs in their hometowns

Posted Mon, 05 Apr 2021 14:01:00 -0700

This story by Nicole Camarda was published by KIVI-TV in Boise on April 2. Idaho has seen a shortage of physicians and in 2019, the state was 49th in the country for active physicians per 100,000 patients. Friday was the 50th anniversary of the partnership between the University of Idaho and the University of Washington, which enables Idaho students to learn at a top-ranked medical school. The University of Washington's School of Medicine’s WWAMI program, which stands for and serves Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho celebrated “Match Day” recently. Read more

Professors Research Effect of Warming on Dall’s Sheep in Alaska and Canada

Posted Thu, 01 Apr 2021 14:16:00 -0700

Changes in Arctic habitats brought on by global warming could adversely affect Dall’s sheep in Alaska and Canada, according to a new paper published in PLOS One by University of Idaho researchers. Assistant Research Professor of Landscape and Wildlife Ecology Jocelyn Aycrigg, Professor of Wildlife Ecology Janet Rachlow and Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Ecology and Statistics Edward O. Garton of the College of Natural Resources Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences show that habitat selected by Dall’s sheep is influenced by snow depth and cover, temperature and avoidance of shrubs. Read more

Forney Awarded Visiting Endowed Chair at University of Puerto Rico

Posted Mon, 22 Feb 2021 14:56:00 -0800

University Distinguished Professor Larry J. Forney has been awarded the Hispanics in Research Capability Visiting Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research from the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. Read more

Paper Explores Use of Shell Material to Gather DNA From Mollusks

Posted Fri, 19 Feb 2021 11:34:00 -0800

Kelly Martin, a biology doctorate student, and two faculty members, including Christine Parent, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and Lisette Waits, distinguished professor in the College of Natural Resources, jointly produced a paper on mollusk shells that appeared in BioScience, a peer-reviewed science journal published by Oxford University. The paper explores the use of unconventional DNA sources from mollusks, which have the highest number of extinctions of any taxonomic group. Traditionally, mollusk shell material was used for morphological research. Not until recently has it been used in DNA studies. Successful recovery of shell DNA can help answer ecological and evolutionary questions and protect molluscan diversity, according to the paper. Read more

Biology Professor Recognized by Alma Mater for Success, Service and Leadership

Posted Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:48:00 -0800

College of Science Professor Jim Bull has been recognized as the 2021 Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnus by Texas Tech University College of Arts and Sciences, where he earned an undergraduate degree before earning his doctorate from the University of Utah. The award recognizes former teachers and students for their “innovation, community service and leadership, pursuit of excellence, public accountability and diversity.” Jim was also recognized for his “professional success and service to the community and representation of the university” as an “undeniable candidate for this prestigious honor.” Read more

Distinguished Professor Celebrates 60 Years of Chemistry Research at U of I

Posted Mon, 01 Feb 2021 14:58:00 -0800

University Distinguished Professor Jean’ne Shreeve celebrated 60 years with the University of Idaho chemistry department on Monday, a milestone that — along with Shreeve’s accomplishments — is a tough act to follow. Read more

Zebrafish May Hold Clues for Retinal Regeneration in Humans

Posted Thu, 19 Nov 2020 14:17:00 -0800

What can zebrafish do that humans can’t? They can regenerate damaged neurons in their retina for starters. Assistant Professor Diana Mitchell in the Department of Biological Sciences recently received $1.25 million of direct funding from the National Institutes of Health to study specialized immune cells called microglia and macrophages to determine if the function of these cells could help explain why zebrafish have this ability and humans don’t. Mitchell’s grant proposal was submitted through the Institute of Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies. Read more

WWAMI Faculty Awarded $99,000 NIH Grant to Research Underlying Causes of Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Posted Thu, 05 Nov 2020 15:00:00 -0800

Onesmo Balemba (PI, Department of Biological Sciences and dual appointment with WWAMI), Chantal Vella (Co-PI, Department of Movement Sciences and dual appointment with WWAMI) and Rayme Geidl (Co-PI, WWAMI, associate director of Clinical Education) were awarded a one-year, $99,000 National Institute of Health (NIH) grant through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Diabetes Complications Consortium to explore novel causes of diabetes neuropathy (nerve dysfunction) and dysmotility (digestive system muscle dysfunction). The study will help improve understanding of the interaction between diet, the gut’s microbiome and the host. Read more

U of I Chemistry Professor Earns Fulbright to Research, Teach in England

Posted Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:37:00 -0700

MOSCOW, Idaho — Sept. 24, 2020 — A University of Idaho chemistry professor whose work includes building calcium sensors for NASA recently earned a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to teach and do research at Great Britain’s University of Exeter. Read more

Diana Mitchell to Present at NIH Virtual IDeA PI Meeting

Posted Wed, 16 Sep 2020 15:10:00 -0700

Diana Mitchell, assistant professor, Biological Sciences, was selected to present her abstract entitled “Retinal Development and Regeneration from a Microglial Perspective” at the NIH virtual IDeA PI meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22. She was one of the few selected from 175 submissions to present. Read more


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