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Funding Update: NSF Microarray Grants: Mar 27, 2012


NSF Microarray Grants Awarded Nov. 8, 2011 — March 27, 2012

DNA methylation as a mechanism to increase adaptive potential in invertebrates
Start date: May 1, 2012
Expires: April 30, 2014
Awarded amount to date: $243,090
Principal investigator: Steven Roberts
Sponsor: University of Washington

Using the Pacific oyster as a model system, the researchers will investigate the theory that the DNA methylation system provides a mechanism for increased ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. A combination of high-throughput sequencing and microarray approaches will be used to investigate genome-wide methylation patterns and assess how these patterns influence gene expression in an ecologically and economically important marine invertebrate. Multiple developmental stages will be targeted as well as individuals subjected to acute environmental stress. The experimental design allows for the characterization of mechanisms associated with DNA methylation, including testing the theory that genes lacking specific methylation patterns will possess a greater incidence of alternative ways of expressing the genetic information.

Novel microarray platforms for detection of rare molecules in complex mixtures
Start date: March 1, 2012
Expires: Feb. 28, 2014
Awarded amount to date: $499,980
Principal investigator: Michael Harvey
Sponsor: Maine Manufacturing

This project will optimize a new track-etched, nitrocellulose composite membrane for protein array applications. Manufacturing processes for the new composite will be developed to generate multiple forms of the composite to allow it to be incorporated into a variety of binding assay formats. This effort will also shed light on properties for generating ultrasensitive binding surfaces. The result of this project will be an optimized composite membrane with characteristics and manufacturability suited for the most sensitive binding applications, such as reverse phase protein arrays. The platform initially will be optimized for fluorescent detection of rare molecules in complex cell lysates.

BioArray News spoke with PI Michael Harvey about the project last month (BAN 3/13/2012).

Toxicology of graphene-based nanomaterials: a molecular biotechnology approach
Start date: Jan. 15, 2012
Expires: Dec. 31, 2016
Awarded amount to date: $82,865
Principal investigator: Debora Rodrigues
Sponsor: University of Houston

The goal of this project is to understand the mechanisms of microbial toxicity of graphene-based nanomaterials and determine the toxic concentrations that affect the functionality of microbial communities involved in various biogeochemical cycles important in wastewater treatment, such as nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon cycles. Microarrays will be used to assess the mechanisms of toxicity of graphene-based and to determine the effects of different concentrations of graphene-based nanomaterials on different nutrient cycles in wastewater. Traditional environmental engineering techniques will also be used to set acceptable release concentration limits for graphene-based nanomaterials in the environment.