Genetic Mapping Helps Meet Food Needs of World Regions

Mason News May 14, 2012

Getting the Right Goat: Genetic Mapping Helps Meet Food Needs of World Regions

By Michele McDonald

Equipped with measuring tape, camera and a few other tools, a Mason doctoral student is applying lessons learned from the U.S dairy industry to goats in Africa as one way to combat hunger.

African goat market. USDA photo

Jennifer Woodward-Greene is traveling to Ethiopia and Kenya in early June to measure goats and sample their DNA as part of her work with the global hunger and food security program Feed the Future, with theU.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and for her PhD in Mason’sBioinformatics and Computational Biology Department.

“One of the main objectives is to work with the people in their own country to develop sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger, rather than only providing short-term aid,” Woodward-Greene says of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Feed the Future initiative.

Researchers working in goats can learn a thing of two from experience with cows. U.S. dairy cows have increased milk production more than fourfold over the past 40 years due to better breeding, says Curt Van Tassell, a leading bovine geneticist with the USDA’s …

Classification of Regions in Lung Scans

Idiopathic pulomonary fibrosis (IPF) is a terminal disease for which this is medical relief or cure. Methods measure common presentations of IPF are being developed in the lab using pulse image processing.

Under the Electron Microscope – A 3-D Image of an Individual Protein

 From Berkeley Lab News Center  jan. 24, 2012
Sabin Russell

The high resolution of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Gang Ren

When Gang Ren whirls the controls of his cryo-electron microscope, he compares it to fine-tuning the gearshift and brakes of a racing bicycle. But this machine at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is a bit more complex. It costs nearly $1.5 million, operates at the frigid temperature of liquid nitrogen, and it is allowing scientists to see what no one has seen before.

At the Molecular Foundry, Berkeley Lab’s acclaimed nanotechnology research center, Ren has pushed his Zeiss Libra 120 Cryo-Tem microscope to resolutions never envisioned by its German manufacturers, producing detailed snapshots of individual molecules. Today, he and his colleague Lei Zhang are reporting the first 3-D images of an individual protein ever obtained with enough clarity to determine its structure.

3-D images from a single particle (A) a series of images of an ApoA-1 protein particle, taken from different angles as indicated. A succession of four computer enhancements (projections) clarifies the signal. In the right column is the 3-D image compiled from the clarified data. B) is a close-up of …


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