Accomplishments: School of Life Sciences

March 9, 2017
Vivian Sam and Matt Rader (Life Sciences) were featured in "Study Breaks," a national undergrad write-up. Both are pursuing biology degrees with concentrations in ecology and evolution.
February 16, 2017
Dennis Bazylinski (Life Sciences) and a team of international researchers recently published a research article titled “Origin of Microbial Biomineralization and Magnetotaxis During the Archean” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that shows magnetic navigation by swimming bacteria may be more ancient than previously thought. Bazylinski’s research team shows genomic evidence that magnetotaxis, the production of magnetosomes (intracellular magnetic crystals in certain bacteria)...
February 15, 2017
Ai-Sun "Kelly" Tseng (Life Sciences) published an article, “Seeing the Future: Using Xenopus to Understand Eye Regeneration” in genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development. Graduate student Cindy Kha’s images were selected for the journal cover illustration. This invited review article is part of of a special issue focusing on biological advances and emerging technologies using the frog, Xenopus, as a model organism.  Tseng’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that enable...
January 10, 2017
Frank van Breukelen (Life Sciences) received a four-year, $797,810 National Science Foundation grant to study hibernation in tenrecs. The current views about mammalian hibernation were developed using traditional models such as the ground squirrel. In these models, hibernators periodically rewarm to active levels between bouts of depressed metabolism. In this proposal, a unique model of hibernation will be used. Common tenrecs (Tenrec ecaudatus) originate from Madagascar and in contrast to all...
January 5, 2017
Dennis Bazylinski (Life Sciences) and a team of researchers recently published a research article titled "Measuring Spectroscopy and Magnetism of Extracted and Intracellular Magnetosomes Using Soft X-ray Ptychography" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Biomagnetism refers to phenomenon where living creatures, such as bacteria, algae, fish, and birds, can detect and use local magnetic fields to their advantage. The so-called magnetotactic bacteria are an ideal model for...
January 4, 2017
Helen Wing (Life Sciences) has received a three-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant worth $445,008. It is a continuation of a research project that now has received nine years of continual NIH funding. The project focuses on virulence gene regulation in the bacterial pathogen Shigella.  Nucleoid structuring proteins found within bacterial cells play an important role in compacting and organizing DNA, but they often silence the transcription of genes that they sequester. Molecular...
December 23, 2016
Ai-Sun Tseng (Life Sciences) recently published a research article titled "Effects of the Biocide Methylisothiazolinone on Xenopus laevis Wound Healing and Tail Regeneration” in Aquatic Toxicology. This study shows that the commonly used preservative, methylisothiazolinone, impairs the natural repair ability of frog tadpoles to regrow tails. Co-authors include four former and current UNLV undergraduate researchers: Nicole Delos Santos, '14 BS and current post-baccalaureate student Summer Azmat...
December 9, 2016
Scott Abella (Life Sciences) recently gave a talk titled, "National Park Treasures: Celebrating Conservation" at the Lake Mead Visitor Center. He shared the stories of conservation challenges and successes of the National Park Service restoration efforts during the past 100 years. His work as a researcher has supported Lake Mead and other parks throughout the Southwest. Abella is the author of Conserving America’s National Parks.  
December 2, 2016
Frank van Breukelen (Life Science) has received a four-year National Science Foundation research grant totaling $797,810 to study hibernation in tenrecs.  Tenrecs are esoteric mammals from Madagascar that have a unique form of hibernation. These animals are able to hibernate or maintain active body temperatures from at least 12-28 °C. His proposal will extend on his lab's current work and investigate what happens to normally vital homeostatic processes like kidney function and protein synthesis...
November 17, 2016
Ai-Sun Tseng (Life Sciences) was a speaker at the biennial International Xenopus Conference in Kolymbari, Crete, and at the 2016 Southwest Regional Society for Developmental Biology meeting in Salt Lake City. She presented her laboratory's recent research studies on vertebrate eye regeneration.
September 30, 2016
Helen Wing (Life Sciences) is serving as a special editor of an issue of the journal Genes that focuses on "Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria." As special editor, Wing is responsible for:   Preparing a brief introduction of this special issue. Making decisions on the manuscripts based on the articles received. Recommending five leading scholars in this area to publish papers free of charge in this special issue. Genes is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal on genes,...
September 26, 2016
Allen Gibbs (Life Sciences) published An Experimental Evolution Test of the Melanism-Desiccation Hypothesis in Insects in PLoS One. This study challenges a long-standing idea in insect physiology, that darker insects will survive better in drier conditions. Co-authors included Subhash Rajpurohit, a former post-doctoral researcher in the Gibbs lab, and three former UNLV undergraduate researchers, Lisa Marie Peterson, Andrew J. Orr, and Anthony J. Marlon.