Department of Biological Science

Roach-like bug lights way to understanding how muscles work

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in science, it sometimes takes a thousand photos to tell the whole story. Florida State University researchers have assembled the first atomic-level resolution image of part of a molecule that produces force in muscle contraction, an accomplishment that is opening new avenues of research into […]

Key research advance could spawn new treatments for heart diseases

Scientists peering into the beating heart have solved a decades-old, fundamental mystery about how the heart works. The revelation could herald the development of new treatments for heart diseases — the leading cause of death worldwide. Researchers from Eastern Virginia Medical School, Florida State University and the University of Virginia have observed a tiny muscle […]

FSU researchers discover how ‘cryptic species’ respond differently to coral bleaching

Certain brightly colored coral species dotting the seafloor may appear indistinguishable to many divers and snorkelers, but Florida State University researchers have found that these genetically diverse marine invertebrates vary in their response to ocean warming, a finding that has implications for the long-term health of coral reefs. The researchers used molecular genetics to differentiate […]

‘Cryptic coral species’ respond differently to coral bleaching

Certain brightly colored coral species dotting the seafloor may appear indistinguishable to many divers and snorkelers, but Florida State University researchers have found that these genetically diverse marine invertebrates vary in their response to ocean warming, a finding that has implications for the long-term health of coral reefs. The researchers used molecular genetics to differentiate […]

FSU researcher examines ways cocaine alters gene expression

New research from Florida State University identifies a novel gene that plays a functional role in cocaine addiction.   In a new paper in the journal Biological Psychiatry, Assistant Professor of Biological Science Jian Feng and his colleagues reveal that cocaine use in mice resulted in changes to what’s called long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), a major type of […]

FSU researchers find diverse communities comprise bacterial mats threatening coral reefs

Researchers are learning more about the brightly colored bacterial mats threatening the ecological health of coral reefs worldwide. In new research released this month, a Florida State University team revealed that these mats are more complex than scientists previously knew, opening the door for many questions about how to best protect reef ecosystems in the future. FSU Assistant Professor of Biological Science Sophie McCoy and doctoral […]

FSU-led team earns National Science Foundation grant to study effects of heat waves on sea urchins

A team of researchers, led by a Florida State University biologist, has received a $1.1 million National Science Foundation grant to better understand how rapid and extreme warming events impact the reproduction of sea urchins. Daniel Okamoto, an assistant professor in FSU’s Department of Biological Science and principal investigator for the grant, and his team […]

Florida State-led team offers new rules for algae species classification

A team of evolutionary biologists and ecologists, led by a Florida State University researcher, has a new idea for how scientists should classify algae species. FSU Assistant Professor of Biological Science Sophie McCoy and her team are proposing formal definitions for algae species and subcategories for the research community to consider: They are recommending algae […]

Florida State University and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare team up to turn around COVID-19 tests in 24 hours or less

The longer a patient must wait for the results of a COVID-19 test, the less effective it is as a tool for preventing the spread of the disease. Having to wait days to learn results means they could be out-of-date by the time they reach a patient. Long delays could also mean asymptomatic carriers are […]

FSU biologist uses genome database to investigate cancer cells

Florida State University Professor of Biological Science David Gilbert is using the latest information about the human genome as a guide to better understand cancer. Gilbert and his FSU colleagues were part of a team that compared different cancer cell types to a database of normal human cells using a new method he developed that […]

FSU biologist part of team that discovered new record for highest-living mammal

It was a surprising thing to see on the otherwise lifeless peak of a South American volcano — a mouse, specifically a yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse, or Phyllotis xanthopygus, scurrying among the rocks on the summit. The find was especially startling because the mouse was living at an elevation of 22,100 feet, a higher elevation than […]

FSU workshop on maize genome profiling leads to new study on corn flowering

A genomic mapping technique developed in part at Florida State University has played a crucial role in a new study aimed at understanding growth in corn, a major U.S. crop. Professor of Biological Science Hank Bass and colleagues at FSU have refined the technique, called chromatin sensitivity profiling, over the past decade. They used it […]