biology

Picture of walnut fly, one of insects studied by UI researchers as part of research into biodiverrsity in ruban areas.

Green spaces don't ensure biodiversity in urban areas

University of Iowa study showed more trees did not correspond with more insects
Green spaces in cities are great, but they don't ensure biodiversity, according to University of Iowa biologists. The team found insect abundance was lacking in two common urban trees, suggesting insect movement may be limited by barriers, such as roads and buildings. Results appear in the journal PLOS ONE.

Treating cancer: UI biologists find gene that could stop tumors in their tracks

UI researchers have found a gene in a soil amoeba that can overcompensate for the specific mutations of a similar gene. In humans, those genetic mutations can often lead to tumor growth. Researchers are now looking for a separate human gene that could overcompensate for mutations in the same way.

Science UI biologist comments on bioelectricity

Bernd Fritzsch, UI professor of biology, comments on the paper of another researcher, the long history of bioelectric batteries, and their potential future use in the human body.

The Red Queen lecturing Alice

Researchers test whether Red Queen hypothesis makes species resilient

It's how life survives in a constantly changing environment
Over the years, evolutionary biologists have referenced the “Red Queen” hypothesis, which describes how living organisms, including humans, manage to survive in a changing environment by adapting through sexual reproduction. According to a University of Iowa researcher, the hypothesis is supported.
Michelle Sullivan - Biology and Dance

The art of hands-on science

Urbandale senior take interests and training on to grad school
In this video feature Urbandale native Michelle Sullivan talks about her biology major at Iowa, the research opportunities she's had through Honors at Iowa, and how the dance minor complemented her scientific training.
The image depicts mice having a normal nerve (left) as compared to an incomplete nerve, a condition resulting in permanent downward gaze in both mice and humans.

Researchers track down cause of eye mobility disorder

Normal development stalls in the nerves
In a paper published in the April 16 print issue of the journal Neuron, UI researchers Bernd Fritzsch and Jeremy Duncan and their colleagues at Harvard Medical School, along with investigator and corresponding author Elizabeth Engle, describe how their studies on mutated mice mimic human mutations responsible for an eye mobility disorder.
Female fly on a flower

More to biological diversity than meets the eye

Specialization by insect species is the key
UI biology researcher Andrew Forbes and his colleagues studied fly and wasp species on plants in a Chilean rainforest and found more species than biological theory would have predicted because specialized interactions between species allow a larger, more diverse number of species to live in the same place.
boninites (rock)

World's oldest rocks spark discussion on origin of life

Finding means life could have begun 4.4 billion years ago
An Australian-led team including a UI geologist studied rocks from the coast of Hudson Bay in Quebec, Canada and found indications that life existed on Earth nearly 900 million years early than currently thought.

A quicker, cheaper way to detect staph in the body

Probe identifies staph bacteria without need for biopsies
Watch out, infection. University of Iowa researchers have created a probe that can identify staph bacteria before symptoms appear. The probe is noninvasive and is expected to be cheaper and faster than current diagnostic techniques. Results published in the journal Nature Medicine.
stylized DNA strand

The science of evolution

Faculty members respond to recent Campus Voices article
Today the overwhelming majority of scientists in Iowa, the United States, and across the world agree that biological evolution explains the diversity of life on our planet.

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