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Funding Update: NSF Grants Awarded to Stanford, Duke, and More

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Recent NSF Awards in Proteomics and Protein Research

Title: Lanthanide-Based Probes for Visualizing RNAs and Proteins in Live Organisms
Principal Investigator: James Chen
Sponsor: Stanford University
Start/End Date: Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2017
Amount Awarded to Date: $825,000

Funds an effort develop lanthanide-based systems for imaging RNAs and proteins in vivo. The researchers aim to develop RNA aptamers and polypeptide receptors that bind to lanthanide chelates and enhance their photoluminescence, allowing them to detect subnanomolar levels of mRNAs and proteins in live zebrafish embryos.


Title: Recombinant Multi-epitope Mosaic Protein Design for Urine-based Diagnosis of Leptospirosis
Principal Investigators: Edwin Agbo
Sponsor: Fyodor Biotechnologies
Start/End Date: Sept. 15, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2015
Amount Awarded to Date: $729,789

Funds the development and validation of a non-invasive, multiplex urine dipstick for diagnosis of Acute Febrile Illness caused by polymicrobial infections using pathogen-specific antibodies.


Title: Expanding the Scope of a Chemical Modification and Mass Spectrometry-Based Method for Protein-Ligand Binding Analysis
Principal Investigators: Michael Fitzgerald
Sponsor: Duke University
Start/End Date: Sept. 15, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2016
Amount Awarded to Date: $407,000

Funds the development and application of quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics methods for the large-scale thermodynamic analysis of protein-ligand binding interactions. The technique combines the stability of proteins from rates of oxidation (SPROX) method with stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) to compare the equilibrium unfolding/folding properties of proteins and protein ligand-complexes in real biological mixtures.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.