It can take 10 years and more than $1 billion for a potential medical drug to get from initial study to the pharmacy. Three graduate students have found inefficiencies in the way lab animals used in research are handled, and they have developed a solution. MD/PhD students Brandon Lucke-Wold and Zachary Wright and MBA student Brandon Cook have developed SwifTag, an ear tag that uses radio frequency identification and a smartphone reader to collect data for animal inventory and tracking. The current system uses numbered metal ear tags to keep track of animals. SwifTag simplifies the process to avoid hand-entering data on computers and reduces excessive animal handling and the chances of human error. The team has secured pilot funding for prototyping, filed a provisional patent and formed a limited liability company.
Humans are a lot more like yeast than it appears at first glance. Yeast grows, divides, ages and metabolizes food much like human cells do, which is a reason Jennifer Gallagher, assistant professor of biology, is using yeast to look at the effects herbicides have on genes. In 2015, the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is a “probable human carcinogen.” With the support of the National Science Foundation, Gallagher is studying genetically diverse strains of yeast from all over the world to see if she can find pathways, which also appear in humans, that herbicides affect.
We talk about carbon a lot, especially as it relates to climate change. More carbon is stored in soil than the atmosphere and biosphere combined, and the microorganisms in soil consume the carbon and convert it to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Ember Morrissey, assistant professor of environmental microbiology in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, is studying how soil microorganisms behave in order to predict whether their actions could alleviate or worsen climate change. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Environmental Biology.
What if we could harvest the elements in our phones from acid mine drainage? What if our snack packaging was made from plants?Continue Reading
A robot turns from space mining to pollinating raspberries. Drones work as a team. And students find a way to make medical research run faster.Continue Reading