biology

OCBILs & YODFELs

 

I recently stumbled upon the OCBIL theory. In the words of Hopper (2009): “OCBIL theory aims to develop an integrated series of hypotheses explaining the evolution and ecology of, and best conservation practices for, biota on very old, climatically buffered, infertile landscapes (OCBILs). Conventional theory for ecology and evolu- tionary and conservation biology has developed primarily from data on species and communities from young, often disturbed, fertile landscapes (YODFELs), mainly in the Northern Hemisphere.” As a geomorphologist, and in particular a biogeomorphologist interested in coevolution of landscapes, biota, and soils, the OCBIL-YODFEL contrast is extremely interesting—mainly because it implies a key role for landscape age, stability, and geomorphic disturbance regimes in the development of ecosystems and evolution of biodiversity patterns.

Blue Abroad: First-Gen Students Blog From London

Senior biology major Danielle Middleton blogs about her visit to the British Broadcasting Company with other first-generation University of Kentucky students.

UK Alum Paves the Way for Space Exploration

UK alumnus and former astronaut Story Musgrave reflects on his path from the Bluegrass to the outer space.

UK Awarded $1.9 Million to Improve Retention of STEM Majors

Howard Hughes Medical Institute funds five-year project to promote student achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in collaboration with BCTC

Emily Holsopple Wins NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Emily Holsopple, a biology major and member of the UK rifle team, was recently awarded the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Naff Symposium 2014: Donald E. Ingber, "From Cellular Mechanotransduction to Biologically Inspired Engineering"

 

 

40th Annual Naff Symposium chem.as.uky.edu/naff-symposium University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Donald E. Ingber Director, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

Abstract: The newly emerging field of Biologically Inspired Engineering centers on understanding the fundamental principles that Nature uses to build and control living systems, and on applying this knowledge to engineer biologically inspired materials and devices for medicine, industry and the environment. A central challenge in this field is to understand of how living cells and tissues are constructed so that they exhibit their incredible organic properties, including their ability to change shape, move, grow, and self-heal. These are properties we strive to mimic, but we cannot yet build manmade devices that exhibit or selectively control these behaviors. To accomplish this, we must uncover the underlying design principles that govern how cells and tissues form and function as hierarchical assemblies of nanometer scale components. In this lecture, I will review work that has begun to reveal these design principles that guide self-assembly of living 3D structures with great robustness, mechanical strength and biochemical efficiency, even though they are composed of many thousands of flexible molecular scale components. Key to this process is that the molecular frameworks of our cells, tissues and organs are stabilized using a tension-dependent architectural system, known as ‘tensegrity’, and these tensed molecular scaffolds combine mechanical load-bearing functions with solid-phase biochemical processing activities. I will describe how this structural perspective has led to new insights into the molecular basis of cellular mechanotransduction – the process by which living cells sense mechanical forces and convert them into changes in intracellular biochemistry, gene expression and thereby influence cell fate decisions during tissue and organ development. In addition, I will present how these scientific advances have been facilitated by development of new micro- and nano-technologies, including engineering of novel human organ-on-a-chip microdevices that also have great potential value as replacements for animal testing in drug development and discovery research. Understanding of these design principles that govern biological organization, and how scientific discovery and technology development can be facilitated by equally melding fundamental science and applied engineering, are critical for anyone who wants to fully harness the power of biology.

 

 

Naff Symposium 2014: Hao Yan, "Designer Architectures for Programmable Self-Assembly"

40th Annual Naff Symposium chem.as.uky.edu/naff-symposium University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Hao Yan, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University

Abstract: The central task of nanotechnology is to control motions and organize matter with nanometer precision. To achieve this, scientists have investigated a large variety of materials including inorganic materials, organic molecules, and biological polymers as well as different methods that can be sorted into so-called “bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches. Among all of the remarkable achievements made, the success of DNA self-assembly in building programmable nanopatterns has attracted broad attention. In this talk I will present our efforts in using DNA as an information-coding polymer to program and construct DNA nano-architectures with complex geometrical features. Use of designer DNA architectures as molecular sensor, actuator and scaffolds will also be discussed.

Two UK Students Awarded Undergraduate Research Abroad Scholarships

Two UK Juniors receive Undergraduate Research Abroad Scholarship, to travel to Switzerland and Brazil.

Biology Student Slavina Goleva Awarded Summer Research Fellowship

Slavina Goleva, a sophomore Biology major from Bulgaria, was recently awarded the American Physiological Society’s Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship for the summer of 2014.

Biodiversity in the Workplace: Philip Crowley

The College of Arts & Sciences is collaborating on an effort to revitalize science education with the addition of a new science building. Born with ecological ideals in mind, this building will create a learning environment unlike any other on campus as classrooms engage students with the incorporation of nature into the building’s design itself. In this podcast, Philip Crowley, a professor in the Biology Department, describes the new science building from inside and out and discusses what he looks forward to the most.

This podcast was produced by Casey Hibbard

Creative Commons License
Biodiversity in the Workplace: Philip Crowley by UK College of Arts & Sciences is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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