Tue, Aug 24, 2010
UM Receives $1.9 Million from National Science Foundation for Investigations of Biomolecular Structure
The University of Maryland has received a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to acquire a superconducting 800 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer that will help scientists and engineers to solve complex problems in biology and medicine. The instrument will be the highest field NMR spectrometer to be located on the College Park campus and will enable scientists to investigate the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules and study their interactions with a degree of resolution and sensitivity not previously possible. Kwaku Dayie, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is the principal investigator on the grant, and will utilize this technology to advance his research on the biophysics of RNAs (ribonucleic acids).
Fri, Aug 20, 2010
The UM Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter, along with the support of the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, invited American Association for the Advancement of Scidence (AAAS) Careers Science outreach speaker Brianna Blaser to give a talk titled: "Creative Job Search Strategies" on August 19. About 50 people attended from different areas of biology, physics, chemistry, and social science. "From the positive comments received afterwards, it was a very useful – and much needed – workshop for the scientific community on campus," says Edgar Moctezuma, instructor of cell biology and molecular genetics, who helped organize the event.
Wed, Aug 18, 2010
Summer climates and increasing pollution are creating a perfect environment in the Chesapeake Bay for breeding vibrio – bacteria that cause skin and blood infections and intestinal illnesses. Vibrio infections are especially tough on those with liver disease or high blood iron, said Distinguished University Professor Rita Colwell. Colwell has been studying vibrio in the Chesapeake Bay for nearly four decades and was cited heavily in a July 2009 Chesapeake Bay Foundation report on the risks of bacterial infection and nutrient poisoning in the bay. "It's a nasty infection," Colwell said. "It's very invasive and it's tissue destroying." In rare cases, it can be fatal, she said. People with open wounds are advised to avoid contact with bay waters.
Fri, Aug 13, 2010
Naturally occurring bacteria, vibrio, is on the rise in the Chesapeake Bay, causing state and local health officials to warn swimmers, fishermen and shellfish eaters to take precautions. The bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illness as well as skin infections – and sometimes can kill. Distinguished University Professor Rita Colwell contributed to a 2009 Chesapeake Bay Foundation report on water quality, which found vibrio and other contaminants in the Chesapeake bay waters becoming an increasing problem as the world's waters have warmed. The bacteria thrive because the salty waters are warming and because runoff polluted with nutrients is fueling growth of plankton, which feeds critters that host vibrio. In dense concentrations, the vibrio make people sick. If the waters continue to warm and pollution increases, the bacteria will remain out of balance and cases will increase, she said. "I don't anticipate a large outbreak," she said. "But people need to take precautions, use common sense."
Wed, Aug 11, 2010
The University of Maryland, in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County, has received a $7.9 million federal grant to acquire a superconducting 950 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) magnet that will help researchers unravel the mysteries of molecules and develop new agents to treat cancer, AIDS and other diseases. David Fushman, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, is a co-director of the grant, and will lead the College Park team that includes several biochemists and cell biologists whose research will be enhanced by the new NMR spectrometer