What happens when leaves go from sink to source?

As photosynthesis rates rise, leaves ultimately become net nutrient sources, supplying carbohydrates to the remainder of the plant. This sink-to-source transition is likely to have profound effects on mineral distribution, sequestration, and compartmentalization of essential elements in plants. But determining these effects is challenging due to the difficulty in measuring such distributions over large areas, such as a whole leaf or plant.


Bringing bacteria's defense into focus

The process they observed uses CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) sites, where the cell’s DNA can be snipped to insert additional DNA.

Biologists use CRISPR for genetic engineering experiments, but cells may have evolved the mechanism as part of a defense system. The cell uses these locations to store molecular memories of invaders so that they can be selectively eradicated at the next encounter.


Three receive annual Schwartz awards for life sciences

The annual awards support women life scientists conducting innovative, risk-taking research.

Margaret Bynoe, associate professor of immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine; Carolyn Sevier, assistant professor of molecular medicine, also in the veterinary college; and Olena Vatamaniuk, associate professor of crop and soil sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, each received awards of $15,000.


Grape bud imaging


Kovaleski is using the technology to visualize the inner portions of buds to observe how they are damaged by freezing temperatures, a critical issue with the increase in extreme weather events — like late spring frosts — brought on by climate change.



Biologists, biochemists, biophysicists, and medical professionals seek to understand the structure and function of biomaterials and living systems.

CHESS imaging reveals how copper affects plant fertility

The human population is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, and meeting future food and energy needs requires increases in agricultural production by enhancing productivity on existing land or by increasing the amount of land used for production. Achieving these gains depends on adequate levels of soil micronutrients like copper, low levels of which can impact yield by reducing fertility and, in extreme cases, lead to total crop failure.


Changing the identity of cellular enzyme spawns new pathway

Integral membrane proteins, or IMPs, are a major class of proteins that play crucial roles in many cellular processes, including the catalysis of disulfide bonds, which are essential for the function and stability of many proteins such as antibodies, which have significant therapeutic potential.

But IMPs are intrinsically hydrophobic and thus have low solubility in watery environments. Their natural environment is within the lipid bilayer membrane of a cell, which makes it difficult to study their structure and function.