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Sequencing-Related NSF Grants Awarded Dec. 18, 2007 – March 25, 2008

Collaborative Research: Genomics as the Foundation of a New Undergraduate Curriculum
Start Date: Feb. 1, 2008
Expires: Jan. 31, 2010
Awarded Amount to Date: $151,867
Principal Investigator: Steven Slater
Sponsor: Arizona State University
Start Date: Feb. 1, 2008
Expires: Jan. 31, 2010
Awarded Amount to Date: $48,133
Principal Investigator: Stanley Kikkert
Sponsor: Maricopa County Community College District
Arizona State University, in collaboration with Mesa Community College and Seattle Pacific University, is implementing a genomics-focused, research-based approach for teaching the core biological science classes. The interdisciplinary program consists of courses in which bacterial genome projects are initiated, completed, and published over the course of several semesters. This method of teaching was developed by PI Slater and his collaborator Goodner when they sequenced the Agrobacterium tumefaciens genome. The publication of this genome had over a dozen undergraduates as coauthors.
Start Date: February 1, 2008

Using Combined-Evidence Phylogenetics to Inform a Revised Classification of Spittlebugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cercopoidea)
Start Date: Dec. 1, 2007
Expires: August 31, 2008
Awarded Amount to Date: $136,706
Principal Investigator: Jason Cryan
Sponsor: New York State Education Department
This project uses traditional comparative morphological methods and modern DNA sequencing technology as part of a large-scale investigation into the evolution of spittlebugs. The results of this project will include a reconstruction of evolutionary relationships among the major lineages of spittlebugs, interpretations of observed patterns of worldwide spittlebug geographical distribution and host-plant affiliations, and improved, internet-accessible tools for spittlebug identification. This work will provide a framework for integrating the considerable number of scientific studies that have been conducted on the biology and ecology of individual spittlebug species.

Science of Opportunity: A SGER Proposal to Support the Development of Genomic Resources for Antarctic Pteropods
Start Date: Dec. 15, 2007
Expires: Nov. 30, 2008
Awarded Amount to Date: $20,000
Principal Investigator: Gretchen Hofmann
Sponsor: University of California-Santa Barbara
This Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) will help researchers rapidly acquire the DNA sequence for the Antarctic pteropod Limacina helicina, a resource that would allow them to develop a cDNA microarray to profile how gene expression in this critical marine invertebrate changes in response to ocean acidification. The resources developed here will be shared with the polar research community and all DNA sequence data and protocols will be available via web databases.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.