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Synthetic Biology

What's bugging plants? Pest recognition by plant cell surface receptors

The plant immune system recognizes pests and pathogens and activates inducible defense responses. Our lab aims to understand how plants detect and respond to different classes of attackers, and how plants recognize the huge breadth of potential threats through a limited number of receptor-encoding genes. Our lens on immune recognition is to study the large set of several hundred receptor kinases, which can specifically bind diverse pest-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs).

Biology Postdoc Seminar: Eric Lumsden, Steven Peterson, & Sarah Guiziou

Investigating the Mechanisms of Seasonally-Driven Song Circuit Plasticity in Songbirds (by: Eric Lumsden in the Perkel Lab)

Generalized neural decoding across participants and recording modalities (by: Steven Peterson in the Brunton Lab)

A synthetic biology tool to decode the development of lateral roots (by: Sarah Guiziou in the Nemhauser Lab)

Membrane composition dictates fall of primary cilia and rise of cell cycle

A primary cilium is presented as a meso-scale device that senses and translates extracellular information into intracellular biochemical reactions. These input cues manifest in a variety of forms ranging from chemical to mechanical ones. Deregulation of these information transfer leads to human diseases known as ciliopathies. Due to its diffraction-limited dimension and semi-membrane-bound topology, a primary cilium has been a daunting compartment to visualize and manipulate signaling events on site.

Insights into the Evolution and Function of Auxin Signaling F-Box Proteins in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> Through Synthetic Analysis of Natural Variants

R. Wright C, Zahler ML, Gerben SR, Nemhauser JL.  2017.  Insights into the Evolution and Function of Auxin Signaling F-Box Proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana Through Synthetic Analysis of Natural Variants. Genetics. :genetics.300092.2017.

Bioinspiration and life in 3D

Nature-inspired solutions have spawned such products as potential cancer cures from animal and plants, novel antibiotics, and gecko-inspired adhesives. This “bio-inspired” approach applies integrative methods from anatomy, animal function, evolution, and biomechanics to inspire novel synthetic materials.  Further, new methods for visualizing animals has opened new doors into understanding the diversity of life.  This lecture will discuss how studies of gecko form and functions have contributed to a broader understanding of bio-inspiration.

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