Temporary Field Technician Wanted for Vegetation Study in North Carolina
Agency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Location: Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Otto, NC Job Category: Field technician Salary: TBD Start Date: May 30th Last Date to Apply: March 15th
A full-time temporary field technician is needed to assist with vegetation data collection at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Otto, NC. The position is ~40 hours per week (hours may vary by week) starting approximately May 30th and continuing into late July. No overtime. Exact start date negotiable. Specific hours may change by week. Work will be conducted in forested mountain slopes. Duties include assisting with experimental setup, data collection, and lots of plant identification.
Qualifications Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree in biology or related natural sciences discipline. Experience in vegetation inventory and plant identification is required. Applicants should have a strong interest, coursework, and/or experience working in botany, ecology, or related field. Technician must be able to provide their own transportation to the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory by the start date. Housing will be provided. Experience working in eastern forests or using scientific equipment - GPS unit, compass, PAR meter, soil probes, standard vegetation field guides and keys, etc. are essential.
Candidates must be in good physical shape with the ability to stand or walk for long periods of time (up to 10 hours per day) over uneven terrain in all weather conditions. Must have the ability to lift and carry up to 30 pounds while standing or walking. Moderate risks walking in rough terrain. Other risks include, but are not limited to, snake or insect bites or stings, exposure to sun, and exposure to extreme or adverse weather conditions including heat, cold, high humidity, and rain.
Send a cover letter, CV or resume, and a list of 3 references (phone numbers and email addresses) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Person: Matt Candeias Candeia2@illinois.edu
How research on bacterial immune systems led to CRISPR
CRISPR is a DNA editing tool that is currently revolutionizing the scientific world. CRISPR gives scientists and laboratories the ability to cut out malfunctioning DNA and replace it with functioning DNA. To do this, scientists must first program a specific RNA molecule and attach it to the protein Cas-9. When introduced to cells, this RNA/Cas-9 hybrid will seek out the malfunctioning DNA and cut it out, like a pair of molecular scissors. Scientists can then either insert the correct DNA, or the body can repair the cut itself.
CRISPR started as a basic research project in Dr. Jennifer Doudna’s lab at UC Berkeley. She was studying how bacterial immune systems fight off invading viral DNA. Through this research Dr. Doudna and her team, collaborating with Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, turned that knowledge into what we now know as CRISPR, the world’s most powerful DNA editing tool.
It is a condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues of the face. The signs and symptoms of this disorder vary greatly, ranging from almost unnoticeable to severe. Most affected individuals have underdeveloped facial bones, particularly the cheek bones, and a very small jaw and chin (micrognathia). Some people with this condition are also born with an opening in the roof of the mouth called a cleft palate. In severe cases, underdevelopment of the facial bones may restrict an affected infant’s airway, causing potentially life-threatening respiratory problems.
People with Treacher Collins syndrome often have eyes that slant downward, sparse eyelashes, and a notch in the lower eyelids called an eyelid coloboma. Some affected individuals have additional eye abnormalities that can lead to vision loss. This condition is also characterized by absent, small, or unusually formed ears. Hearing loss occurs in about half of all affected individuals; hearing loss is caused by defects of the three small bones in the middle ear, which transmit sound, or by underdevelopment of the ear canal. People with Treacher Collins syndrome usually have normal intelligence.
Our cells unknowingly
allow entry of viruses on a regular basis. The most dangerous viruses take
advantage of our own receptors to sneak into our cell’s cytoplasm in order to
wreak their havoc. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is no exception.
Slithering into our CD4 t-cells’ genomes, HIV releases its genetic information. Eventually, HIV leads
to fatal autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). New technologies like antiviral
treatment have helped in prolonging the onset of AIDS and allowing for
inflicted individuals to live longer lives. However, the current treatments are
extremely expensive, and ultimately lead to drug resistance and toxicity.
technology has been adapted by a group of researchers to surgically remove the
CXCR4 gene in an attempt to effectively prevent HIV infection. The target gene
codes for the CXCR4 receptor; infamous as a co-receptor that allows the entry
of HIV into our cells. Scientists have successfully removed the CXCR4 gene in
human and rhesus monkey CD4 t-cells. As a result, HIV was unable to infiltrate the cells.
scientists were concerned about off-target effects of removing the receptor.
CXCR4 is important in progenitor cell migration, and differentiation of thymus
tissue. In previous studies, the same scientists determined that a mutated
CXCR4 gene can be used to replace the original gene. Individuals who’s CXCR4
gene contains a mutation of the P191A allele are immune to HIV invasion. The
researchers propose that by inducing this mutation in another copy of the gene,
it can be used to maintain cell functions but also prevent HIV infection. They would simply swap the modified gene with the excised gene during the CRISPR editing process.
Society has been looking for a cure for HIV and AIDS for
many years. While this is not a useful treatment to rely on after the virus has
already integrated itself into our t-cells, it shows promise as a preventative
measure. CRISPR is quickly demonstrating a fantastic
versatility when it comes to what kinds of genetic disease it is able to treat and prevent - whether the genetic issue is heritable, caused by a virus, or obtained through mutation during our lifetime.
These awesome cats all share the same genetic mutation that give them their beguiling multi-colored irises. It’s called Heterochromia, specifically sectoral heterochromia, which causes part of one or both irises to be a different color from the rest. While 30-40% of cats born with heterochromia may suffer from deafness in one ear, the condition does not affect their vision. However we wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they have hypnotic powers.
Ötzi the Iceman has no living female relatives, as his maternal genetic branch is now extinct, says a new research into the genetic history of the 5,300-year-old mummy.
According to the study, the Iceman’s maternal line appears to have originated and died out in the eastern Italian Alps. On the other hand, his paternal lineage is still observed in Europe, and new male relatives, alive and well, may be possibly added to the list of the mummy’s descendants.
The announcement comes a week after researchers published the results of a genetic analysis which established the Copper Age man was infected with Helicobacter pylori, the pathogen that gives people gastritis and stomach ulcers. Read more.
Biologists at Tufts University have succeeded in inducing one species
of flatworm to grow heads and brains characteristic of another species
of flatworm without altering genomic sequence. The work reveals
physiological circuits as a new kind of epigenetics - information
existing outside of genomic sequence - that determines large-scale
The finding that head shape is not hard-wired by the genome but can
be overridden by manipulating electrical synapses in the body suggests
that differences in species could be determined in part by the activity
of bioelectrical networks. The discovery could help improve
understanding of birth defects and regeneration by revealing a new
pathway for controlling complex pattern formation. It has long been
known that neural networks exploit bioelectric synapses to store and
re-write information in the brain.
The findings are detailed in the cover story of the November 2015 edition of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, appearing online Nov. 24.
Tufts biologists induced one species of flatworm – G. dorotocephala,
top left – to grow heads and brains characteristic of other species of
flatworm, top row, without altering genomic sequence. Examples of the
outcomes can be seen in the bottom row of the image. Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University.
Inside the Bizarre Genome of the World’s Toughest Animal
Tardigrades are sponges for foreign genes. Does that explain why they are famously indestructible?
by Ed Yong
The toughest animals in the world
aren’t bulky elephants, or cold-tolerant penguins, or even the famously
durable cockroach. Instead, the champions of durability are endearing
microscopic creatures called tardigrades, or water bears.
live everywhere, from the tallest mountains to the deepest oceans, and
from hot springs to Antarctic ice. They can even tolerate New York. They
cope with these inhospitable environments by transforming into a
nigh-indestructible state. Their adorable shuffling gaits cease. Their
eight legs curl inwards. Their rotund bodies shrivel up, expelling
almost all of their water and becoming a dried barrel called a “tun.”
Their metabolism dwindles to near-nothingness—they are practically dead.
And in skirting the edge of death, they become incredibly hard to kill.
the tun state, tardigrades don’t need food or water. They can shrug off
temperatures close to absolute zero and as high as 151 degrees Celsius.
They can withstand the intense pressures of the deep ocean, doses of
radiation that would kill other animals, and baths of toxic solvents.
And they are, to date, the only animals that have been exposed to the
naked vacuum of space and lived to tell the tale—or, at least, lay
viable eggs. (Their only weakness, as a researcher once told me, is
“vulnerability to mechanical damage;” in other words, you can squish
Serotonin is one of the major neurotransmitters (i.e. chemicals) in
the brain. It’s very connected to our emotions and so it’s not a
coincidence that a lot of the drugs that are used to treat depression
and anxiety act on the serotonin system in the brain. This is clearly a
very important chemical for determining the nature of our emotional
The serotonin transporter gene
is involved with the regulation of serotonin in the brain. People are born with variations of
this gene. The long variation (or “allele”) clears serotonin out of the neural synapse
more efficiently. The short variation is less efficient, which lets the
serotonin hang around a little bit longer in the synapse.
The short variation was originally considered a risk gene because it was associated with depression and anxiety — but it’s now being thought of as a sensitivity gene.
Scientists in the US have used gene editing to repair a genetic mutation in cells that causes retinitis pigmentosa, one of the leading causes of blindness in young people around the world.
Researchers employed the CRISPR technique to repair the affected cells, with the procedure representing the first time that scientists have replaced a defective gene associated with a sensory disease in stem cells that were derived from a patient’s own tissue.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, details how the researchers took a sample of skin from a patient with retinitis pigmentosa. This inherited condition causes the retina to degrade and can lead to complete blindness within a decade.
Experts have long struggled to pinpoint schizophrenia biological roots — until now. After a widespread genetic analysis
of 65,000 people, researchers from the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center
for Psychiatric Research, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s
Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital
found an increased risk of schizophrenia among people with a particular
variant of a gene called “complement component 4,” or C4. C4 plays a role in a biological process called “synaptic pruning.”