News & Announcements

8th Annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

UMass Amherst Chemists Publish ‘Breakthrough’ Article on RNA Sequencing

photo of Craig Martin

Chemist Craig Martin and colleagues including first author and doctoral student Yasaman Gholamalipour report they have solved the longstanding mystery of what’s happening to cause RNA sequences to replicate inaccurately in high-yield situations. Details of the work supported by the National Science Foundation appear in Nucleic Acids Research, where journal editors tagged the paper as a “breakthrough article” that presents “high-impact studies answering long-standing questions in the field of nucleic acids research and/or opening up new areas and mechanistic hypotheses for investigation,” and representing “the very best papers published at NAR.” Read more

UMass Amherst Researchers Plan to Develop Alternative Energy Source for Muscle

Muscle biophysicist Ned Debold in the kinesiology department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences, with Dhandapani Venkataraman and Jianhan Chen of the chemistry department, are collaborating on a project to develop a compound to serve as an alternative energy source for skeletal and cardiac muscle during times of stress. The work is supported by a two-year, $200,000 Innovative Project Award from the American Heart Association. Read more

Trustees Approve Tenure Awards for 4 Faculty Members

photo of Alicia Timme-Laragy

Four faculty members were awarded tenure following approval by the Board of Trustees at its Sept. 19 meeting in Lowell:

William Hite, music and dance
Mario Parente, electrical and computer engineering
Alicia R. Timme-Laragy, environmental health sciences
Kristine M. Yu, linguistics

Read more

 

Smarty Plants
UMass Amherst scientists work to crack a code that might help nourish the world

Smarty Plants: Maize

Iron deficiency anemia is a huge global problem. It affects 2 billion people, particularly in low-income countries where many rely on grain as a staple. Yet so far, plants have managed to outwit our efforts to convince them to carry more iron. University of Massachusetts Amherst molecular biologist Elsbeth Walker has received a three-year $870,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to discover exactly how plants regulate the amount of iron they take up through their roots. Read More

UMass Amherst Food Scientists Partner with ‘Real Pickles’ to Profile Microbes at a Fermented Vegetable Facility

pickled vegetables

Writing in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College student and co-first-author Jonah Einson, with research fellow Asha Rani and senior investigator professor David Sela, have mapped and characterized microbial populations in a vegetable fermentation facility and report that its microbiome was distinct between production and fermentation areas and that the raw vegetables themselves – cabbages destined for sauerkraut – were the main source of fermentation-related microbes in production areas rather than handling or other environmental sources. Read more

UMass Amherst Scientists Make Polymers Containing Solid Nanoparticles

possible new coacervates with solid particles

Sarah L. Perry, chemical engineering, and Maria M. Santore, polymer science and engineering, are building a new class of environmentally friendly polymer materials (or polymer-based fluids) called complex coacervates that will contain solid nanoparticles. Supported by a three-year, $357,694 grant from the National Science Foundation, they also will uncover and chronicle the design rules for these materials creating a road map for further research in the field. Read more

Ross, Hayward Elected Fellows of American Physical Society

The American Physical Society has announced that Jennifer Ross, professor of physics, and Ryan Hayward, professor of polymer science and engineering, were elected fellows of the American Physical Society (APS) by the APS Council of Representatives at its September meeting. Read more

UMass Amherst Neuroscientists See Clues to Brain Maturation in Adolescent Rats

One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence. Now, results from a study in rats just reported by neuroscientists Heather Richardson, Geng-Lin Li and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that as animals transition into adolescence, specific physical changes to axons speed up neural transmission, which may lead to higher cognitive abilities. Read more

Edwin Murenzi Wins Poster Competition

Edwin Murenzi, molecular and cellular biology and veterinary and animal sciences, was awarded first place in the Agrochemical Division poster competition at the 256th national meeting of the American Chemical Society held Aug. 19-23 in Boston. Read more

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