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August 2017

In new results reported in The Plant Cell, molecular biologist Elizabeth Vierling (M2M) and colleagues in India and China report finding a crucial mechanism that plants need to recover from heat stress.

She points out that high temperature damage to crops is increasing with climate change, and uncovering mechanisms of heat tolerance are important not only as basic knowledge, but for possible future attempts to enhance plants’ ability to survive high temperatures.

Chemist Sankaran “Thai” Thayumanavan (CBD & M2M) has received a three-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a multi-university Center for Autonomous Chemistry, where he and colleagues, including chemist Vince Rotello (M2M, CBD, CPHM), will seek to design artificial self-activating systems, or “automatic control as nature does it,” in Thayumanavan’s words.

Evolutionary biologist Craig Albertson, M2M and biology, found that the rate at which larval fish exercise their jaw muscles in a gaping behavior influences how the skull develops. The more vigorously it exercises the more response is seen in bone development, particularly a critical bone used in opening the jaw. Results appear in the current early online issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.