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Biology Top Stories

  • William AndereggU Forest Ecologist Wins Prestigious Packard Fellowship

    William Anderegg, an assistant professor of biology, has received one of 18 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for his research on the effects of climate change and drought on forests. Packard Fellows receive a five-year, $875,000 grant to pursue research directions of their choosing. The Packard Foundation requires little paperwork connected to the grant, allowing fellows wide latitude to pursue risky and creative research ideas, dubbed “blue-sky thinking” by the foundation. “I felt honored, thrilled, and surprised all at once,” Anderegg says. “I was pretty overwhelmed by the exciting news.”

  • Science Friday LiveScience Friday Live In Salt Lake City

    Join Ira Flatow and the rest of the SciFri crew as we hit the road to uncover and report on the amazing science news and stories happening in your local area. This is your chance to look behind the curtain of your favorite national radio show and participate in a special live performance with the Utah scientists and conversations you love. This 90-minute program typically features live music, props, video screenings, and demonstrations. And as a bonus, the event will be recorded so you can be a part of the weekly Science Friday broadcast heard on your local station!

  • Dale ClaytonHead lice treatment technology developed by University of Utah professor

    MURRAY, Utah (News4Utah) -- September is Lice Awareness Month. Head lice can be a big fear for families especially as kids go back to school. One local researcher and doctor believes he discovered a cure-all. University of Utah biology professor, Dale Clayton, invented One Cure, a heated technology to kill lice and its eggs. Mary Ashton, a mother of 16, says it worked for herself and her children. Mary is also a teacher. Lice were bound to hit.

  • Bryn DentingerA Valuable Human Symbiont

    Bryn Dentinger, Associate Professor of Biology, focuses his research on fungal diversity and coevolution. He also is the Curator of Mycology at the Natural History Museum of Utah where he has established a fungus collection already numbering about 500 specimens. His goal is to build a permanent collection with thousands of specimens to document fungi in Utah and worldwide.

  • Sophie CaronFaculty Spotlight: Sophie Caron

    Sophie Caron, an Assistant Professor of Biology, will present a “Science Night Live” talk on April 4 at the Sky Lounge, 149 Pierpont Ave, 6 p.m. She will discuss how the brain – and in particular neuronal networks – is organized to provide both the flexibility and specificity required for memory formation. The event is free and open to the public. Must be 21. Call Paige Berg for details at (801) 587-8098 or berg@science.utah.edu.

  • Conus shells on display in the south biology building at the University of Utah in 2015.Could snail venom replace addictive opioid painkillers?

    A handful of University of Utah researchers for years have investigated the venom of marine snails and how it might be transformed into a safer alternative to opioid painkillers. Now, they have new backing to expand their research. The U. this week said it has received $10 million from the Department of Defense to further study cone snail venom and search for similar compounds from the venom of other marine organisms. Years from now, they hope, a synthetic version of the venom will become a substitute for drugs like morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone. “We’re going back to natural sources to find the next generation of pain drugs,” said Russell Teichert, a research associate professor in the Department of Biology.

  • Randy Rasmussen and Denise DearingAlumni Spotlight: Randy Rasmussen

    Many of today’s most successful companies were created by groups of friends: Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started HP in a garage in Palo Alto; Microsoft was cofounded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, childhood friends from Lakewood, Washington; and Google established by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, part of the same Ph.D. cohort at Stanford.

  • Nitin PhadnisFaculty Spotlight: Nitin Phadnis

    Nitin Phadnis, an Assistant Professor of Biology, is trying to solve a genetics puzzle that has eluded scientists, and philosophers, for nearly two centuries – how do two species evolve from one species? It is well known that speciation – the process by which one species splits into two – involves the evolution of reproductive isolating barriers such as the sterility or inviability of hybrids between certain populations.

  • A species of herbivore (a larva from the genus of butterfly Synargis) being tended by an ant (of the species Ectatomma tuberculatum.) They are on one of the study species, Inga thiboudiana.Evolutionary Arms 'Chase'

    In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are difficult to chew. For years, scientists have assumed that herbivores and plants are locked into evolutionary competition in which a plant evolves a defense, the herbivore evolves a workaround, and so on.

  • James KeenerMelding Math and Biology

    Your body is full of math. From the constant flow of molecules in and out of your cells to the nerve signals zipping through your brain, your physiological processes can be described in terms of mathematical terms and models. It’s an approach to biology and physiology that moves from observational science into fundamental physical principles, according to some mathematicians, including the University of Utah’s James Keener. This week, Keener and his fellow mathematical biologists gather at the U for the 2017 annual meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology. As part of the proceedings, the society will award Keener the inaugural John Jungck Prize for Excellence in Education. Keener recently spoke with @theU.

Last Updated: 12/21/16