Gila monsters are reclusive, cold-blooded, raw egg-loving lizards whose venomous bites can cause intense pain. Ah, but within that same mouthful of venom-laced saliva is a marvelously therapeutic protein – one which has already been synthesized and used in diabetic drug treatments. And, it’s one which University of Alabama researchers are analyzing in hopes it could later improve the digestive performance of humans compromised by intestinal cancer and/or surgery.
With Hurricane Katrina’s intense destruction in 2005, government officials and private citizens can no longer take public infrastructure for granted. Through a series of research projects, The University of Alabama’s Aging Infrastructure Systems Center for Excellence is improving the productivity and resilience of aging assets in America.
If anyone or anything ever needed a champion to take up its cause, it was the lowly chytrid. Not so long ago, the microscopic fungus was relatively unknown, unloved and, although it didn’t seem to impact the tiny organism’s psyche, generally regarded as unimportant. And this dismissive approach was coming from many mycologists, those botanists who specifically study fungi.
Thirteen years ago Dr. Marcus Brown, associate professor of computer science at The University of Alabama, and one of his now former graduate students were awarded a patent for their novel invention which identifies a person by how they type their name.
There’s an almost audible buzz emitting from a basement level laboratory in The University of Alabama’s Biology Building. The five graduate and 10 undergraduate students who work there, alongside Drs. Guy and Kim Caldwell, UA biology professors, are pumped. So too are their aforementioned faculty mentors.
The world has a drug problem. It’s not limited to the one you may be thinking of, and scientists are starting to look for solutions to it in places you might not imagine – places like the surfaces of volcanoes lying almost a mile beneath the ocean’s surface.