Oxidative Damage Leads to Errors in Meiotic Chromosome Segregation

Research done in Prof. Sharon Bickel's lab has demonstrated that oxidative damage causes a premature loss of sister chromatid cohesion and an increase in chromosome segregation errors in Drosophila oocytes during meiosis. 

In women, the probability of miscarriage or Down Syndrome increases dramatically with age.  Studies of maternal age effect indicate that errors in female meiosis contribute significantly to this age-related effect.  The research done by the Bickel lab demonstrates that if oxidative damage contributes to maternal age effect then reducing oxidative damage could be a strategy for reducing chromosome segregation errors during meiosis.

Professor Sharon Bickel, MCB graduate student Adrienne Perkins, Class of 2013 undergraduate researcher Thomas Das and second year MCB graduate student Lauren Panzera contributed to this work.  These findings were published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/10/12/1612047113.full

Youjun Wu named Copenhaver Fellow

Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program Ph.D candidate, Youjun Wu, has been selected to be a John H. Copenhaver, Jr. and William H. Thomas, MD 1952 Fellow for her outstanding scholarship.  Youjun is a student in Prof. Erik Griffin's laboratory.  The laboratory studies cytoplasmic protein gradients that are involved in the patterning of early C. elegans embryos.

Youjun is first author on the Molecular Biology of the Cell research paper,  Coupling between cytoplasmic concentration gradients through local control of protein mobility in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote.



Researcher Corinne Vietorisz '19 Studies Ectomycorrhiza Fungi

Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) fungi grow on the surfaces of plant roots and develop a symbiotic with the plants that host them. Corinne Vietorisz '19 is studying the role of the dominant tree species and soil type on ECM fungi.  She is particularly interested on the impact of ash trees because of the expected die-off of ash trees from Emerald Ash Borer.  She is working with Prof. Matt Ayres and EEES graduate student Ashley Lang on her studies.

To read Corinne's article about her work this summer at the Hubbard Brook Research Forest, please click here.

Professor Eric Schaller featured in ASPB News

Professor Eric Schaller is featured in the July/August 2018 American Society of Plant Biologists' News Luminaries Column.  In the article, Prof. Schaller talks about growing up around scientists and how he became interested in molecular biology at a young age.  In college, he cultivated his interest in molecular biology and near the end of his undergraduate studies, he decided to focus his work on plants.  

Plants remain the focus of the work done in Prof. Schaller's research labororatory, The Phytohormone Signaling Laboratory.  His laboratory studies the role of two plant hormones, ethylene and cytokinin, in plant growth and development.

In addition to being a successful teacher and research scientist, Prof. Schaller is an accomplished writer of fiction.  While writing fiction may seem far removed from the world of research science, Prof. Schaller says in the article "One positive outcome of my fiction writing is that it enables me to engage with audiences less frequently encountered by academics, but who are often quite interested in science."

Kudos to Biology Major Phi Beta Inductees and Sophmore Prize Winner!

Congratulations to Biology majors Dylan Cahil '18, Kennedy Jensen '18 and Nicholas Norwitz '18 on their induction into Dartmouth's Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa!  Dartmouth Phi Beta Kappa inductees must have one of the top twenty cummulative grade point averages after completing eight terms of study at Dartmouth.

Biology major, Anant Mishra '19 received the Phi Beta Kappa Sophmore Prize for holding one of the highest grade point averages in his class.  Congratulations Anant!

To read the article about the recipients in Dartmouth News, please visit this link:  https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2017/11/phi-beta-kappa-inducts-22-class-2018

Photo by Kate Soule.

"Beetle Mania" - Dartmouth Alumni Magazine features Prof. Matt Ayres

Prof. Matt Ayres is an internationally recognized expert on the effects of climate change on the impact and distribution insects.  In the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine article, "Beetle Mania" he talks about his work on the southern pine beetle, the impact of invasive, non-native insects and being summoned to the World Bank to discuss climate change and invasive insect species.

To read the full article, please click here.

Illustration by Gaby D’Alessandro

Bacterial Classification May be More Elusive than Previously Thought

Prof. Olga Zhaxybayeva's work on the classification of microorganisms has revealed that classifying microorganisms is more complicated than previously thought.  Her paper, A null model For mcrobial diversification published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, shows that a simple birth-death cycle of cells may explain grouping patterns.

To read the Dartmouth press release for this paper, please click here.

Sound Matters: Sex And Death In The Rain Forest

National Public Radio interviewed Dr. Laurel Symes, Dr. Sharon Martinson and Prof. Hannah ter Hofstede about their research on the sounds of the rain forest.  The group is studing the complex ultrasonic communications of bats and their insect prey.  The read or hear the full interview please visit the NPR website at the following link:  https://www.npr.org/2017/04/04/521452464/sound-matters-sex-and-death-in-the-rain-forest

Aldo Arellano '17 Studies the Ecology of Lake Mývatn

Undergraduate researcher, Aldo Arellano '17, spent last summer studing the ecology of Lake Mývatn in Iceland.  Aldo was selected to be one of four researchers to go to Iceland under the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  The project in Iceland took an interdisciplinary approach to understanding midge flies and their influences on food webs.  Aldo's work focused on the blue-green algae, Anabaena.

To read more about Aldo's work and his time in Iceland, please visit the Dartmouth News link:  https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2017/02/undergraduate-researcher-takes-his-studies-iceland

Class of 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees Include Three Biology Majors

Three Biology majors from the Class of 2017 have been inducted into the national academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.  Biology majors Marielle Brady ’17, Hae-Lin Cho ’17 and Abiah Pritchard ’17 were among the twenty members of the Class of 2017 who were inducted this year.  Congratulations to Marielle, Hae-Lin and Abiah!!

Photo by Joseph Meling '69