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

University of Idaho researchers partnered with other scientists from the U.S. and Australia to study the evolution of Tasmanian devils in response to a unique transmissible cancer. “Our work suggests that maintaining genetic diversity across a wide set of functionally important genes is critical to make sure Tasmanian devils are able to adapt to transmissible cancers and other threats to their survival,” said Dept. of Biological Sciences Associate Professor Paul Hohenlohe.

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BCB Graduate Feature: Tanner Varrelman

In 2014, Tanner Varrelman came to the University of Idaho as an undergraduate to study biology. Like many students, he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his degree. Now a graduate of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) Ph.D. program, his years of research have led him to a unique combination of fields: disease and databases.

Lassa Virus Dashboard
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BCB Graduate Feature: Amanda Stahlke

When Amanda Stahlke started her doctoral work in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) program, she intended to begin by assembling and analyzing the genome of the tamarisk beetle system that has been the focus of her research for years. Now, nearing graduation, she is finally finishing the analyses and genome assemblies that she thought would be her first step. “I’ve been humbled by the task that this actually is,” she says.

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Genomics Resources Core

The IBEST Genomics Resources Core (GRC) provides researchers from the University of Idaho access to technology, experience, and expertise in genomics research. Applications of these technologies are commonly used in biomedical research, but the interdisciplinary focus of the University of Idaho results in a wide range of fields that can benefit from the core, including microbial studies, agricultural studies, forest management, and animal science. The Genomics Resources core is also available to researchers that are external to the University of Idaho.

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Computational Resources Core

The IBEST Computational Resources Core (CRC) serves as the computational backbone of evolutionary and computational biology research at the University of Idaho. It provides investigators with state of the art high performance computing and large data storage capacity for use in analyzing and managing large volumes of research data. Users of the core run jobs that may use hundreds of processors in parallel or large memory allocations and may run require weeks to complete. The CRC is explicitly designed to manage the complex computational and storage requirements for the IBEST researchers and core facilities with very high data reliability and availability. The core contains an advanced mix of high performance computing clusters, powerful servers and reliable data storage components as well as the knowledge and technical skills required to compress years of analysis into days.

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NKN Loves Data

Northwest Knowledge Network

The IBEST Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN) provides research data management and computing support for UI researchers and their regional, national, and international collaborators. Support for research data management, curation, and dynamic access keeps our researchers at the cutting-edge of science and increases and enhances our institution's competitiveness for external research grants. Quality data and metadata developed in research projects and curated by NKN is a valuable, long-term asset for a public land-grant University and provides a foundation and source upon which to develop and build new research and science.

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