Research Spotlights Digest

visualization of nanopipette tip and conductive flat electrode A New Method to Detect Single Molecules

Scientists are interested in being able to study individual molecules in order to determine characteristics that might not be evident when studying en masse. Being able to isolate a single molecule is tricky, but researchers during the past 20 years have been developing ways to use nanopore sensors for the task. The difficulty of this method lies with the extremely small size of the nanopores...Read more

Lifestyle patterns of the BaAka and Bantu Comparing the Gut Microbiome of Different African Populations

Investigations into the gut microbiome continue to reveal how the collections of microorganisms in the digestive system affect human health. Studies have shown that various lifestyle factors can have an influence on the gut microbiome. It seems that a Western-style diet can reduce the diversity of microorganisms in the gut, and researchers are studying the implications for our health.

...Read more

attendees at the 2015 MSI Research Exhibition 2016 Research Exhibition

On Tuesday, April 26, MSI held the seventh annual MSI Research Exhibition. MSI researchers presented posters of their work using MSI. The posters were judged by a panel of faculty members and prizes (travel awards) were awarded. Posters compete in one of two categories, Physical Sciences and Engineering or Biological and Medical Sciences. Entrants were from a wide variety of disciplines. The...Read more

visualization of eddy structure in hydraulic jump Computer Simulations of Hydraulic Jumps

A hydraulic jump is a phenomenon that occurs when a high-velocity liquid transitions to a region where the liquid slows. The fluid rises in height, turbulence increases, and air is entrained into the flow forming bubbles after the transition. Energy dissipation and higher rates of gas transfer also occur. This phenomenon is useful for engineering purposes such as energy dissipation and...Read more

graphs of expressed genes after immunosuppressive treatment Finding Genetic Markers of Transplant Rejection

When patients suffer renal failure, a kidney transplant is the most cost-effective treatment. Unfortunately, in spite of modern anti-rejection drugs, the patients sometimes suffer either acute rejection (AR), which can happen up to a year or so after the transplant, or chronic allograft dysfunction (CGD), in which the transplanted kidney gradually loses function over a longer time.

...Read more

diagram of osteosarcoma phenotypes; Rottweiler dog Genetic Differences in Osteosarcoma Subtypes

Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that affects both humans and dogs. Researchers at the University of Minnesota, including MSI users, are studying this disease. In a recent paper that appeared in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, MSI Principal Investigators Associate Professor Subbaya Subramanian (...Read more

Finite-element meshes and representative networks in PC model Using Multiscale Mechanical Modeling to Investigate Skin Responses

Researchers in biological sciences and medicine are using scientific computing in a number of exciting ways. One such is computer modeling of structures and organs of the human body.

The research group of Professor Victor Barocas (Biomedical Engineering) develops...Read more

ball-and-stick representations of molecules A New Metal-Organic Framework for Catalysis

Chemists are often interested in developing new catalysts that will improve the efficiency of chemical reactions. They can look to nature to provide examples when designing these new materials. Metalloporphyrins are a class of metal complexes that appear a great deal in biological systems. These complexes, while they are effective catalysts, can decompose and oxidize unless they are protected...Read more

Galaxy flow chart Expanding the Galaxy Platform

Galaxy is an open-source, web-accessible, integrated informatics solution for data-intensive research in biological and medical science. It is designed so that biologists without programming experience can use it, and it captures information so that computational analyses can be duplicated by other users. It also allows users to share, collaborate, and publish their analyses via the web....Read more

microscopic images of biofilms Understanding Pathogens and Biofilms

A major concern of medical treatment is that patients can develop infections, either from exposure to dangerous microbes while in the hospital, or because these organisms are introduced by medical devices, such as artificial joints, catheters, or artificial heart valves. These infections affect thousands of patients a year. The second most common cause of healthcare-related infections is ...Read more

table and image showing experimental and theoretical intermolecular distances A New Atmospheric Sulfur Compound

Scientists who study the atmosphere have been interested in the behavior of sulfur compounds for many years. For example, sulfuric acid is a key player in the formation of atmospheric aerosol and, as such, plays a critical role in determining climate and the global energy budget. Further investigations into how sulfur combines with other atmospheric species continue to be important for both...Read more

graphs showing microbiome population Changes in the Human Gut Microbiome Caused by Colorectal Cancer

The microbiome of the human digestive tract has become an area of a great deal of exciting research and discovery. Scientists are finding out how the microorganisms living in our bodies affect our health, and several MSI PIs are involved in this research.

MSI Principal Investigators Timothy Starr,...Read more

map of emissions Measuring Nitrous Oxide Emissions

Nitrous oxide, N2O, is an important greenhouse gas and stratrospheric ozone depleting substance. The bulk of N2O emissions come from agricultural lands and associated waterways that receive agricultural runoff. Experts use an emission factor (EF) to approximate annual N2O emissions for different areas. From the EPA website, the...Read more

Investigations of Dark Matter

Current astrophysical research indicates that most of the mass of the Universe is made up of a substance called “dark matter,” so called because it cannot be seen. Its presence is inferred by its gravitational effects. Astrophysicists believe that the gravitational pull of dark matter causes galaxies to hold together and also to form into giant clusters. Little is known about this enigmatic...Read more

Wildlife in the Serengeti

Camera traps, which are motion- or heat-activated automatic cameras, are revolutionizing how researchers can study ecosystems, since they are noninvasive, relatively inexpensive, and are capable of monitoring large areas and diverse species. A few years ago, members of the research group of MSI Principal Investigator ...Read more