2020 News Archive

iGEM team develops noninvasive endometriosis test

November 19, 2020

When Meghan Martin ’21, a biochemistry and American Sign Language double major, was a sophomore in high school, she began experiencing intense, chronic pain. An avid runner and soccer player, she was crippled by cramps, nausea, and back spasms that left her unable to participate in the sports she loved.

“I’ve always been really active, but I would go to practice, and then I would come home and have to lay down because my back would be spasming so badly,” Martin says. “I would start throwing up because I was so nauseous and in so much pain.”

Initially when she sought help, her doctor told her it was just period cramps and that she should take aspirin and get additional rest. Her mother, however, sensed there was something more going on. After some online research, she found that her daughter was exhibiting symptoms characteristic of endometriosis, a chronic disease in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterine cavity.

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Gorbunova and Seluanov Think Bats May Offer Clues to Treating COVID-19

July 13, 2020

“We’ve been interested in longevity and disease resistance in bats for a while, but we didn’t have the time to sit and think about it,” says Gorbunova, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of Biology at Rochester. “Being in quarantine gave us time to discuss this, and we realized there may be a very strong connection between bats’ resistance to infectious diseases and their longevity. We also realized that bats can provide clues to human therapies used to fight diseases.”

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Anusha Naganathan Wins Grant Supporting Outreach to Incarcerated Students

June 29, 2020

Anusha Naganathan, a Research Associate in Gloria Culver’s lab, has won an ASCB Public Engagement Grant to bring science education to students in a local prison.  The title of the grant is, “UR Science Stories: Bringing the Experience of Scientific Experimentation to Students at Groveland Correctional Facility”.  Eitan Freedenberg of the Rochester Education Justice Initiative (REJI) serves as co-Principal Investigator. REJI is a program at the University of Rochester that was founded in 2015 and provides academic programming at local correctional facilities, including Groveland Correctional Facility. The city of Rochester is directly impacted by the positive outcomes of REJI programs as 25% of REJI’s students will return to Monroe county at the end of their sentence.

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Fu lab's research into RNA structure and function provides key information for developing coronavirus treatments

April 29, 2020

“Our strength as a university is our diversity of research expertise, combined with our highly collaborative nature,” says Dragony Fu, an assistant professor of biology on the River Campus and a member of the Center for RNA Biology. “We are surrounded by outstanding researchers who enhance our understanding of RNA biology, and a medical center that provides a translational aspect where the knowledge gained from RNA biology can be applied for therapeutics.”

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