Department at Work
Electric eel: most remarkable predator in animal kingdom
The electric eel may be one of the most remarkable predators in the entire animal kingdom.
That is the conclusion of Kenneth Catania, the Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, who has spent the last three years studying the way this reclusive South American fish uses electric fields to navigate through the muddy waters of the Amazon and Orinoco basins where it lives, locate hidden prey and stun them into submission.
Oct 30, 2015
New class of DNA repair enzyme discovered
This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry was given to three scientists who each focused on one piece of the DNA repair puzzle. Now a new study, reported online Oct. 28 in the journal Nature, reports the discovery of a new class of DNA repair enzyme.
Aug 25, 2015
Professor Bordenstein on why the pronoun I is becoming obsolete
In PLOS Biology, Prof. Bordenstein and colleague Kevin Theis highlight that complex multicellular organisms are not and have never been autonomous individuals, but rather are biological units organized from numerous microbial symbionts and their genomes. Bordenstein and Theis lay out ten principles that advance a unified theory of biology for hosts and their microbiomes.
Jul 31, 2015
Professor Tony Capra and student Corinne Simonti's work featured in Nature News article
Professor Tony Capra and student Corinne Simonti's work on the effects of Neanderthal haplotypes in modern humans has been featured in a Nature News article titled, “Neanderthals had outsize effect on human biology" by Ewen Callaway.
Jul 28, 2015
Study reveals how protein helps cells tolerate DNA damage
Professor Brandt Eichman and graduate student Diana Chavez have discovered how the protein HLTF (helicase-like transcription factor) recognizes and remodels stalled replication “forks.” Their findings, reported in the June 18 issue of Molecular Cell, shed light on processes that help cells tolerate DNA and have implications for cancer therapies that target DNA replication and repair.
Jul 2, 2015
Hillyer receives parasitology medal
Julián Hillyer, associate professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University, is this year’s recipient of the H.B. Ward Medal given by the American Society of Parasitologists.» Read more
Jun 8, 2015
Vanderbilt receives Gates Foundation grant to develop wristband mosquito repellent device
Vanderbilt University announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Laurence J. Zwiebel, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Molecular Biology and professor of biological sciences and pharmacology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission.”» Read More
May 12, 2015
Locating the brain’s SAD center
Four to six percent of the American public suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year.
Biologists have known that variations in the amount of sunlight a person receives and her or his circadian clock play a role in the disorder. They have also proposed that the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin may be involved. However, they have not yet identified the underlying neurobiological mechanisms responsible.
Now, a team of Vanderbilt biologists has taken a major step toward this goal. In the May 7 issue of the journal Current Biology, they report that they have localized the seasonal light cycle effects that drive SAD to a small region in the mid-brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus in an experiment with mice, a common animal model for studying depression in humans.
» Read more.
Mar 25, 2015
"People Behind The Science” chats with Seth Bordenstein
People Behind the Science Podcast interviews Prof. Seth Bordenstein.
» Listen here
Feb 2, 2015
Research News from McMahon Lab
New 'reset' button discovered for circadian clock
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