Announcing the 2019 Promega iGEM Grant Winners

It’s FINALLY time to announce the winners of the 2019 Promega iGEM Grant! We received over 150 applications this year, so picking the top 10 was very tough. As always, we’re impressed by the amazing work iGEM teams are doing in the lab and in their communities. The 10 winners listed below will receive $2,000 in free Promega products.

Good luck to all teams competing in iGEM this year, and congratulations to our winners! Don’t forget that Promega has free technical support for all teams competing in iGEM. Our scientists are excited to help out. You can also check out our iGEM Sponsor page, which has tools and resources to help make your project a success. Continue reading “Announcing the 2019 Promega iGEM Grant Winners”

Plant Biologists Take the Lead on Elucidating Zombie Genetics

Flowers produced from health (left) and AY-WB-infected (right) Arabidopsis lines approximately 4 weeks postinoculation. Photo credit: MacLean, A. M.  PLOS Biology 2014.  12, e1001835 http://pmid.us/24714165
Flowers produced from health (left) and AY-WB-infected (right) Arabidopsis lines approximately 4 weeks postinoculation. Photo credit: MacLean, A. M. PLOS Biology 2014. 12, e1001835 http://pmid.us/24714165

claimtoken-5367ae87b7cd2

Biology is full of stories that read like a modern day zombie apocalypse. For instance, the parasite Toxoplasma gondii has been in the news for its ability to infect the brains of rats, and reprogram their normal behavioral responses such that they lose their innate fear of cats. Previously, we reviewed the research about the parasitic fungus that infects ants, causing drastic changes in typical ant behavior to aid in distribution of the fungal spores.

In April of this year, MacLean and colleagues published research in PLOS Biology describing interactions between a phytoplasma parasite and Arabidopsis thaliana. What is nice about this particular “zombie” biology story is that the researchers present the beginnings of the genetics that underlie the plant-parasite-insect relationship, moving beyond a description of the phenotypic changes that occur to describing an actual mechanism for those changes. Continue reading “Plant Biologists Take the Lead on Elucidating Zombie Genetics”