Biochemistry ⋅ Page 11

A Lifetime of Helping Students

Virginia Peterson Leaves Biochemistry with Gifts of Student Success

After a 31–year career at MU, Virginia Peterson, teaching professor of biochemistry, can see the fruits of her work to excite students about science and help them enter careers well suited to their talents and aspirations. Her students are found all over the world in positions with industry and business, government, higher education, research, medicine and medical arts.

An Up-And-Coming Two-Fer

Thelen Honored by Two Faculty Awards

Jay Thelen, associate professor of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri, recently was presented two important awards recognizing promising researchers.

From Trash Tree to Disease Fighter

A nuisance tree in Missouri may yield a new MRSA treatment

A team of scientists from disparate disciplines at the University of Missouri have found preliminary evidence that a compound from a nuisance tree that hinders farming could be a new anti-microbial agent effective against a dangerous infection plaguing hospitals.

A Closer Look at Plant Genetics

MU plant scientists receive a $3 million boost from National Science Foundation

Plant genetics research at the University of Missouri got a boost In November with the receipt of three new Plant Genome Research Program awards totaling $3 million from the National Science Foundation.

Post-Nuclear Adaptation

Plants grown near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster have adjusted to the radiation there

Scientists studying the ecological legacy of the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power station have found surprising evidence that some plants can adapt and even flourish in a highly radioactive environment. An international team of scientists, including researchers from the University of Missouri, grew flax plants in a high radiation environment near the abandoned Chernobyl site and compared the seeds produced to those from plants grown in non-radioactive control plots.

A Promising Plant Looks Even Better

Reputed to delay the wasting effects of HIV/AIDS, a medicinal plant goes into the next part of a clinical examination

A herbal remedy used by South African traditional healers to enhance immunity and slow the wasting of HIV/AIDS has passed the first part of a multi-part clinical study in that country. The next piece of the study, now beginning, will determine if anecdotal evidence of the plant’s benefits can be scientifically demonstrated.

Stinky little uranium traps

Sulfate-reducing bacteria smell terrible but can make radioactive toxins less harmful

Judy Wall, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is working on an alternative way to clean up such sites. Her laboratory, in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., is looking at eventually using bacteria to reduce toxic metals to inert substances.

Mapping new directions for K-12 education

MU prepares young people for opportunities in medical science

What do swine flu pandemics and stem cell biology have in common? Medical scientists use sophisticated mapping tools to track the development of both. The University of Missouri, with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is using mapping to give Missouri high school teachers and students a better understanding of fundamental concepts of human health, biology and medical sciences.

From Pig Cells to Stem Cells

Finding could result in better tests for stem cell therapy

Investigators at the University of Missouri have developed the ability to take regular cells from pigs’ connective tissues, known as fibroblasts, and transform them into stem cells, eliminating several of these hurdles. The discovery was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Bryan Garton Assumes Leadership of CAFNR Academic Programs

Bryan L. Garton was recently named interim associate dean and director of academic programs for MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. He previously served as CAFNR’s assistant dean of academic programs and professor of agricultural education.