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NSF Funds Sea Lamprey 'Omics Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation has granted $420,000 to the University of New Hampshire for research that will use genomics and proteomics approaches to study hormonal regulation in sea lampreys, which are among the oldest living vertebrates and may be compared to others, according to UNH.

The school will use the four-year grant to study the lamprey's pituitary hormones and receptors, concentrating on those involved in egg and sperm maturity, at the Center for Molecular and Comparative Endocrinology at UNH.

Stacia Sower, a biochemistry professor who directs the center, will lead a group of graduate and undergraduate students to "test the hypothesis that these hormones and their receptors share common functional and developmental features compared to later evolved vertebrates."

The research will study how modifications in interactive cellular networks, represented by genes and their products, affect biological function from the perspectives of molecular, cellular, and systems biology. The combined data from the proposed studies will be compared against other vertebrate species, including humans.

The lamprey genome, which was mapped in 2005, "offers rich opportunities for identification of ligands, receptors, transcription factors, and signaling pathways," the university said.

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