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Norm Negus

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Remembering Norman Curtiss Negus, Professor Emeritus | September 20, 1926 — September 3, 2022 Farmington, UT–Norman Curtiss Negus, born September 20, 1926, passed through the journey of life on September 3, 2022. He was predeceased in his death by his parents, Howard and Cleo, and his brother, Robert, and sister, Jane. He was a remarkable […]

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Golden Goose Award: Olivera lab

These scientific breakthroughs led to the development of a bladeless LASIK procedure, paper microscopes, and the discovery of a non-opioid pain reliever hidden in the venom of cone snails WASHINGTON, D.C. – On September 14, 2022, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, hosted the 11th annual […]

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Global analysis identifies at-risk forests

Forests are engaged in a delicate, deadly dance with climate change, hosting abundant biodiversity and sucking carbon dioxide out of the air with billions of leafy straws. They can be a part of the climate solution as long as global warming, with its droughts, wildfires and ecosystem shifts, doesn’t kill them first. Top Photo: William […]

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Seeing the world through ants

Ants are among the most numerous insects in the world, numbering from 10-100,000 trillion individuals globally with more than 10,000 species. But you don’t have to tell that to John “Jack” Longino, professor of biology. Known affectionately as “Ant Man” in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah and beyond, Longino is […]

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Remembering Bob Vickery

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Emeritus Faculty Dr. Robert Kingston Vickery Jr, 99, passed away July 20, 2022 in Salt Lake City after a life full of adventures, accomplishments and love. “Bob was an internationally recognized Plant Geneticist and Chair of the Department of Genetics, one of the traditional Departments at Utah that were merged to form the Biology Department,” […]

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Toto Gets Stamped!

Distinguished Professor Baldomero Olivera is featured in the Filipino Postal Office’s “Living Legends” commemorative stamp series. Affectionately referred to as “Toto,” Olivera has pioneered research on marine cone snails, demonstrating the therapeutic potential of their venom, already resulting in an FDA-approved drug. The University of Utah’s biochemistry and pharmacy departments (UofU Health) are currently expanding […]

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Wildfire, Drought & Insects

Threats impacting forests are increasing nationwide. by Paul Gabrielsen Planting a tree seems like a generally good thing to do for the environment. Trees, after all, take in carbon dioxide, offsetting some of the emissions that contribute to climate change. But all of that carbon in trees and forests worldwide could be thrown back into […]

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What We’re Still Learning About How Trees Grow

FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS REMAIN ABOUT WHAT FACTORS LIMIT TREE GROWTH. A NEW SBS STUDY MAY HOLD ANSWERS.  TOP PHOTO CREDIT: Antoine Cabon A conifer forest in Northern California. by Paul Gabrielsen science writer, University Marketing & Communications What will happen to the world’s forests in a warming world? Will increased atmospheric carbon dioxide help trees grow? […]

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2022 Rosenblatt Prize: Thure Cerling

Thure E. Cerling, Distinguished Professor of Biology, is the 2022 recipient of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence. by Paul Gabrielsen science writer, University Marketing & Communications Cerling is also department chair of the Department of Geology & Geophysics, Francis H. Brown Presidential Chair, and Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geophysics. The Rosenblatt Prize is the […]

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The Leonardo Award to Nalini Nadkarni

The Leonardo Museum of Creativity & Innovation awards the innovation and dedication of a distinguished American ecologist March 22, 2022—Each year, The Leonardo presents the Leonardo Award to an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong sense of curiosity and learning, and whose work inspires the creative potential in others. The award reflects the museum’s dedication […]

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Forests on Forests, Nadkarni on Radiolab

For much of history, tree canopies were pretty much completely ignored by science. It was as if researchers said collectively, “It’s just going to be empty up there, and we’ve got our hands full studying the trees down here! So why bother?!” Listen to the podcast here: But then, around the mid-1980s, a few ecologists […]

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Two New Plant Biologists Arrive at SBS

SBS and the University of Utah welcome SBS’s newest faculty, Assistant Professors Chan Yul Yoo and Heejin Yoo. Their research is in the areas of plant biology and Ecology/Evolution and both are positioned in the Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biology Program (MCEB) The Yoos come to us from Oklahoma State University. They earned their PhDs at Purdue University. Chan […]

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2021 AAAS Fellows Announced

Four University of Utah scientists have been selected as 2021 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The awardees are materials science professor Ling Zang of the College of Engineering, and three faculty from the School of Biological Sciences: Distinguished Professor M. Denise Dearing and Professors Dale Clayton and Kelly Hughes. […]

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New Gene-editing Tools Detailed in Cover Article

The expanding CRISPER-Cas universe continues to provide new tools for manipulating genomes in animals. James “Jamie” Gagnon who currently holds the Mario Capecchi Endowed Chair at the School of Biological Sciences understands that embryonic cells “talk” to each other to coordinate the construction process. “Cells are master linguists – they use dozens of different languages, […]

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Ferocious fungus

In new paper, co-authored by SBS Professor, engineers discover what makes a tree-killing fungus so hard to put down. By Vince Horiuchi | public relations associate, College of Engineering University of Utah It’s called Armillaria ostoyae, and it’s a gnarly parasitic fungus with long black tentacles that spread out and attack vegetation with the ferocity […]

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Remembering Naomi Franklin, 1929-2021

SBS Professor Emerita Naomi Franklin passed away on December 24, 2021 in Salt Lake City. She was 92. Colleague Larry Okun, also emeritus, described Franklin as “[a] complex character, stubborn and sometimes irascible on the one hand and extraordinarily caring and generous on the other.” He recalled how she frequently entertained at her home Biology […]

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The Science of Biological Data: Fred Adler

In an age when cross-disciplinary collaboration has become essential, especially in academia, Fred Adler puts his mathematical models where his mouth is. Multi-disciplinary work—in which academic silos are breached in the search for truth—is the hallmark of what Adler, who has a joint appointment in mathematics and biology, does. His is the kind of work […]

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2007 Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi on this year’s award

Each year thousands of professors, members of national committees, Nobel laureates, and parliamentary assemblies lobby their candidates to the Nobel committee for the Nobel Prize. The results of this year’s selection were announced on Oct. 8 by The Norwegian Nobel Committee for research that the committee describes as “having conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” […]

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Bill Gray Awarded Ty Harrison Service Award 2021

Three years ago after Ty Harrison passed away, the board of directors of the Utah Native Plant Society (UNPS) established the Ty Harrison Service Award to honor his memory of outstanding service to the organization. This year we are pleased to announce William R. Gray as the recipient of the Ty Harrison Service Award for […]

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Woodrat microbiomes: It’s who you are that matters most

More than diet or geography, evolutionary history has the strongest influence on bacterial gut communities in both wild and captive woodrats. Every mammal hosts a hidden community of other organisms—the microbiome. Their intestines teem with complex microbial populations that are critical for nutrition, fighting disease and degrading harmful toxins. Throughout their lives, mammals are exposed […]

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Nalini Nadkarni: A tree goes around the world 7 times a year

In October 2021, SBS’s Nalini Nadkarni, Professor Emerita, came to Barcelona to collect the NAT prize, which is awarded by the Museum of Natural Sciences to personalities who have excelled in disseminating scientific knowledge. By Bernat Puigtobella 10/29/2021 Top photo credit: Nalini Nadkarni © Marina Miguel/ Núvol   Known as the “Queen of the Forest […]

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The science of the sandworms of ‘Dune’

The giant creatures in Frank Herbert’s novel have an Earthly counterpart in the numerous nematodes. By Michael S. Werner | Special to The Tribune | Oct. 29, 2021 Top photo: (Chia Bella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP) This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Timothee Chalamet, left, and Rebecca Ferguson in a scene from […]

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Can Fungi Save the World?

Just below the surface of our world lies the vast, unexplored world of fungi. There are an estimated 5.1 million species of fungi weaved into the soil, water and other living organisms that inhabit our planet. Of those five million species, we’ve identified just over 70,000. Despite being just beneath (and sometimes on) our fingertips, the fungal […]

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Inflight Blood Meals on a Starry Night 

SBS’s Neil Vickers could tell you a great deal about turbulence–in his lab and in the broader world of a busy School of Biological Sciences. As Co-Director of the School, he juggles the administration of U Biology with his colleague Leslie Sieburth. This while keeping his lab in the Aline Skaggs Biology Building up and […]

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Darwin’s short-beak enigma solved

Mutation in the ROR2 gene is linked to beak length in domestic pigeons, has a surprising connection with a human congenital disorder. Charles Darwin was obsessed with domestic pigeons. He thought they held the secrets of selection in their beaks. Free from the bonds of natural selection, the 350-plus breeds of domestic pigeons have beaks […]

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Mario Capecchi

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We’re sure you’ve heard of Mario Capecchi Drive on campus, but do you know why that main road was given its name? Dr. Capecchi, who has joint appoints in the Department of Human Genetics and in the School of Biological Sciences, the latter of which where he got his start at the U, was born […]

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This Scientist Discovered an Ant Species in His Own Backyard

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Biologist Jack Longino has spent most of his career hunting for ants in the rainforests of Central America. But this serendipitous discovery happened much closer to home. By Wilson Chapman Jun 18, 2021 1:00 PM The work of finding and classifying new species — taxonomy — shows a strong regional bias. As Jack Longino, a biologist […]

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Birds at risk of extinction

The lush forests and more than 7,000 islands of the Philippines hold a rich diversity of life, with 258 bird species who live nowhere but the Philippine archipelago. A new study from University of Utah researchers suggests that, due to deforestation and habitat degradation, more bird species may be endangered that previously thought – including […]

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Scientific Discovery Illustrated

Biology Under Cover is a permanent exhibit in the lobby of the Aline W. Skaggs Biology Building. The evolving display showcases faculty research spanning decades featured on selected journal covers.   As of July 1, 2021, the exhibit features 60 book and journal covers ranging from the Journal of Cell Science to Nature, and from […]

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Bucking Groove Formation

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Nalini Nadkarni Retires Dr. Nalini Nadkarni has a busy brain. I should know; I’ve been married to her for nearly forty years. She can be described as (in no particular order): a taxi driver, surveyor, hitch hiker, pioneering canopy researcher, forest ecologist, mother, TED talk giver, science and art mixer, teacher, science-to-incarcerated promoter, solo hiker, […]

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Pan-Amphibian Viral Vectors

Ayako Yamaguchi and a team of amphibian neuroscientists have been awarded a one-million-dollar prestigious National Science Foundation EDGE grant to develop pan-amphibian viral vectors for spatio-temporal control of gene expression. The goal of the Yamaguchi lab is to understand how behavior of animals are produced by the nervous system. To this end, they use the […]

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Mary Beckerle Elected to NAS

April 21, 2021—Mary C. Beckerle, chief executive officer and director, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HC); and distinguished professor of biology and associate vice president for cancer affairs, University of Utah was elected to the National Academy of Science. She spends her days working to save lives and as CEO of HCI  models the company’s core values […]

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Nitin Phadnis, Fly Genetics

One of 3 for ’20. February 19, 2021 – Nitin Phadnis, SBS Associate Professor, and his colleagues won an Editors’ Choice Award for an outstanding Population and Evolutionary Genetics article published in GENETICS. Titled “Extensive Recombination Suppression and Epistatic Selection Causes Chromosome-Wide Differentiation of a Selfish Sex Chromosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura“, the article was one of only three selected for […]

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