Research Roundup: April 2021

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GCB News

Research Roundup: April 2021

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by GCB faculty in April 2021:


Using data from the Dunedin Longitudal Study, Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt were part of a team that explored possible links between one known biomarker, distributed integrity of brain white matter, and two intervention targets at midlife to explore structural brain decline and increased risk for dementia in older adults. Read more

Jenny Tung was part of a team investigating the life span of female baboons relative to the chronic activation of the hypothalamic-pituatiry-adrenal axis, which is a component of the stress response. Read more


Jenny Tung and team investigated the morphological and molecular consequences of experimental transitions to breeding status in female Damaraland mole-rats. Read more


David MacAlpine, Alex Hartemink and team collaborated to investigate chromatin changes that occur right after a site specific DNA double-strand break. Read more

Alex Hartemink, David MacAlpine and team used a high-resolution spatiotemporal stress response data set to better understand the relationship between chromatin organization and gene expression. They also developed strategies and models to analyze chromatin dynamics relative to changes in transcription genome-wide. Read more


Xiling Shen was part of a team that discovered women have more of a certain type of immune cell that fights infections in mucosal tissue, and these immune cells amass in the lungs, poised to attack the COVID virus. Read more


Doug Marchuk and team discovered that the majority of cells implicated in  cerebral cavernous malformations have three mutations in each cell, and one of these mutations has ties to cancer. Read more

Genomic Architecture

Tom Mitchell-Olds was part of a team that profiled the genomic architecture of local adaptation in Boechera stricta by connecting ecology, genetic mapping and landscape genomics. Read more


Using a sister sea urchin species, Greg Wray was part of a team investigating how a functional gut corresponds with microbial diversity and abundance. Read more

Jenny Tung was part of a team that examined the fecal phageomes of 23 wild nonhuman primate taxa to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary and ecological orgins of the human gut bacterial communities. Read more


Lingchong You and team studied the formation of branching patterns, which emerge in many microbes when growing on solid surfaces. These results offer new insights into branching pattern formation as a problem‐solving social behavior in microbes and enable fast and accurate predictions of complex spatial patterns in branching colonies. Read more


Xiling Shen and colleagues describe current state-of-the-art imaging modalities for tissue research at multiple scales and emerging tissue modeling and molecular tools that improve resolution, specificity, and throughput. Read more

Charlie Gersbach and Josephine Bodle review work from researchers at Yonsei University and Seoul National University who developed a synthetic DNA Clock system, in which biological events can be temporally recorded into a DNA sequence with predictable kinetics according to an exponential decay model. Read more  

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