If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Isaac Newton

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.

Galileo

The saddest aspect of life right now is that gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

Isaac Asimov

We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.

Stephen Jay Gould
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Jill Johnson Publishes Paper on Heat Shock Proteins in Nature Communications

Professor Jill Johnson, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Alberta and the University of Würzburg, recently published a paper in Nature Communications titled: “The conserved NxNNWHW Motif in Aha1-type co-chaperones modulates the kinetics of Hsp90 ATPase stimulation and is essential for in vivo function.” This research seeks to understand how Hsp90 partners with interacting cochaperones to help 10-15% of cellular proteins fold properly. As part of an IBEST pilot grant award to Dr. Johnson, she identified a version of Hsp90 that increases the requirement for specific cochaperones, allowing more detailed analysis of their function. Hsp90 binds and hydrolyzes ATP, but the link between this activity and function remains unclear. This work suggests that one type of cochaperone regulates a critical step that occurs after ATP hydrolysis. Future collaborative efforts will lead to a greater understanding of Hsp90 function, with the eventual goal of learning how changes in nucleotide release affect the ability of Hsp90 to interact with misfolded proteins.

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BCB PhD student Clint Elg awarded NSF graduate research fellowship program (GRFP) award

Clint Elg is one of only 2,050 students country-wide who is receiving the prestigious and very competitive NSF graduate research fellowship this year! Elg is a Ph.D. student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) program and is in the lab of Dr. Eva Top in Biological Sciences. There is only one other U of I student this year who is offered the same fellowship. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

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Polymorphic Games Interns Win Big at the North Idaho Science & Engineering Fair

Emily Ball and Ari Carter, high school interns in the University of Idaho’s Polymorphic Games studio, had a resoundingly successful day at the North Idaho Science & Engineering Fair in early March; leaving the event with three major awards and two special ones. Their educational video game Bees & Flowers, entered in the math/computer science/ integrated systems category, received a gold medal, a best-in-category, and was the second runner up project for the entire fair out of 83 entries. Ari and Emily’s game also received two special awards including the Outstanding Research Project award from the Idaho Academy of Science and the Intel Excellence in Computer Science award. Bees & Flowers is a video game made to explain evolutionary concepts to elementary and middle school-aged children by showing the coevolutionary relationship between honey bees and flowers. Working in the Polymorphic Games studio in IRIC 107, Emily created the art and 3D models, while Ari programmed the mechanics of the game and the evolutionary model.

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It is strange that only extraordinary men make the discoveries, which later appear so easy and simple.

Georg Lichtenberg
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Diana Mitchell and the GRC published in Scientific Reports - Nature

Assistant Professor Diana Mitchell, in collaboration with Professor Deb Stenkamp of the Dept. of Biological Sciences and the IBEST GRC, recently published a paper in the Scientific Reports - Nature journal titled: “Regeneration associated transcriptional signature of retinal microglia and macrophages.” Funding for this work was provided by Idaho INBRE through a Technology Access Grant awarded to Dr. Mitchell and an NIH R21 awarded to Dr. Stenkamp. Their research seeks to understand the remarkable capacity in which zebrafish can regenerate retinal neurons, in this case with a focus on immune cell populations present during retinal repair. This manuscript is the first work of its kind to use RNA sequencing to probe macrophage populations isolated from tissue in a regenerative state. This work has increased the knowledge of macrophage functions during zebrafish retinal regeneration and provides a wealth of candidate pathways towards understanding macrophage functions in this context.

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U of I Drone Experts to Hold Immersive Half-Day Workshop in Lewiston

Jennifer Hinds and Gina Wilson at the Northwest Knowledge Network and the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies will lead a drone workshop titled "Rising to New Heights: Drones, Data and Science” Wednesday, March 27, among a series of events over three days at the Northwest Science Association's 90th annual meeting at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. The introductory workshop will cover a broad range of topics on the use of drones in natural resources and will include a combination of lecture and hands-on activities for flight planning and processing drone captured data. Registration is required and one-day passes are available.

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Dept of Fish and Wildlife Sciences Researcher Ryan Long Published in Science

Assistant Professor Ryan Long from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences published in Science. Working in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Long and his colleagues found that bushbuck, a forest-dwelling antelope, began to graze the plains after the country's civil war exterminated large predators. In a domino effect, this change in bushbuck foraging behavior altered plant growth on the plain. However, when the researchers mimicked the smell and sounds of predators, bushbuck reversed this behavior, suggesting that the effects of human-caused extermination of big predators can also be reversed if predators are restored.

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I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Isaac Newton
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Dr. Eva Top was recently featured by KIVI Boise

Dept. of Biology faculty Dr. Eva Top was recently featured by KIVI Boise for her research on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Dr. Top’s research plays a major part in preventing a growing, worldwide public health crisis.

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