New Biosensor Highlights Best Biofuel-producing Microbes

A major goal of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is to harness the power of microbes to create biofuels. But often, it’s an expensive challenge for scientists to identify the most useful individual variants among thousands of similar microbe strains. A new study led by Vatsan Raman, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, …

Conserving Helium, a Scarce Nonrenewable Resource, and Reducing Costs at NMR Facility

The National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (NMRFAM) housed in the UW–Madison Department of Biochemistry is home to state-of-the-art technology for biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and related techniques. The facility’s equipment requires helium, and with worldwide supplies dwindling, has recently installed a helium recovery system to increase sustainability and cut costs. NMR enables researchers to …

Ancient Gene Duplication Gave Grasses Multiple Ways to Wait out Winter

If you’ve ever grown carrots in your garden and puzzled over never once seeing them flower, don’t blame a missing green thumb. Carrots, beets and many other plants won’t flower until they’ve gone through winter. The extended cold gives them the signal to flower quickly once spring arrives, providing the plants an edge in the …

Scientists Provide New Insight on How Gene Expression is Controlled

New research on transcriptional pausing, which helps control gene expression in cells, will aid in the understanding of the enzyme RNA polymerase — a key player in the process and an important drug target. The lab of IPiB faculty member Robert Landick has provided this new insight on the mechanism underlying the control of gene expression in all …