University of Missouri Storm Chase Team leader Taylor Trogdon cringes a bit at TV scenes of storm chasers plunging recklessly toward a tornado. While such antics may gather seconds of dramatic video, the action does little to scientifically understand the mysteries of America’s strongest storms.
Research ⋅ Page 25
Chung-Ho Lin, research assistant professor with the MU Center for Agroforestry, has found that red cedar leaves and fruit have compounds that might help fight bacteria, fungi, agricultural pests and weeds, and malaria.
Think that a field of plants is a bucolic place free of strife? Try again. It is a battlefield of chemical warfare between defending plants and attacking pathogens. And the plants are waging a good fight, according to a University of Missouri biochemist. Previous studies have shown that plants can sense attacks by pathogens and activate their defenses. However, it has not been known what happens between the pathogen attacks and the defense activation, until now. A new MU study revealed a very complex process that explains how plants counterattack pathogens. This discovery could potentially lead to crops with enhanced disease resistance.
For years, scientists have studied cystic fibrosis using mice in which the cystic fibrosis gene was altered. However, mice do not develop lung disease like humans with cystic fibrosis. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Iowa have taken the first step in developing a cystic fibrosis model with animals more common to humans—pigs.
Once, buffalo roamed the American prairie in complex societies where offspring were raised and protected according to instinct and learned responses. Today’s descendants of these vast herds live on preserves under the care of wildlife managers.
An international research center co-directed by William Folk, Ph.D., biochemist, in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the School of Medicine, will study the medical effectiveness of the plant commonly called Sutherlandia. A clinical study seeks to determine if the plant is safe and can benefit people in the early stages of HIV/AIDS.
Lupo, an associate professor of atmospheric science in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource’s Department of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences, is a contributing author and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shared the prize this summer with former vice president Al Gore, Jr.
“It’s much, much worse than a bee or wasp sting,” said Robert Sites, an entomologist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “It’s actually not a sting; it’s a bite. You’ll be thinking about it a half hour or an hour. I was bitten in the pad of my little finger, and I felt intense pain all the way to my elbow for a good 30 minutes.” Working with researchers from universities in Thailand, Slovenia and the United States, Sites discovered more than 50 new insect species over a three-year period.
MU researchers are taking major strides toward the development of tiny, highly efficient liquid-core optical ring resonators (LCORR), or “lab-on-a-chip” sensors, which can perform multiple analyses at a high rate of speed with samples as small as a picoliter, or one-trillionth of a liter.