Biochemistry ⋅ Page 11

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.

Old recipes hold new promise in the fight against prostate cancer

MU research indicates that the tomato’s cancer-fighting power is in its preparation

A study by biochemistry researchers at the University of Missouri have found that this type of tomato has properties that help fight prostate cancer. They published their results in the June issue of Cancer Research.

The Pathway Plants Use to Fight Back Against Pathogens

MU study determines what happens between sensing the threat and activating a defense

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.

On a Bridge to Discovery

A Laboratory Benefitting Medicine and Agriculture Opens at MU

BridgeAt first glance, there seems to be little in common between biochemistry research in medicine and agriculture. On closer inspection, the relationship becomes profound as life and disease processes are very similar at the genetic and molecular level.

A Promising Plant

CAFNR Research to Determine How Complementary and Traditional Medicines Can Alleviate HIV/AIDS

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.