Department of Biological Science

Landmark study signals shift in thinking about stem cell differentiation

A pioneering new study led by Florida State University biologists could fundamentally change our understanding of how embryonic stem cells differentiate into specific cell types. The research, published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports, calls into question decades of scientific consensus about the behavior of embryonic stem cells as they transition to endoderm, a […]

Researcher documents cascading effects of parasites on underwater ecosystems

Research by an evolutionary biologist from Florida State University has shown parasites have important and far-reaching effects on predatory fish and the ecosystems they inhabit. These findings, published this week in the journal Ecology, provide important evidence for the little-studied role of parasites in trophic cascades, which are powerful, indirect interactions that can affect entire […]

Researchers find seaweed helps trap carbon dioxide in sediment

Every beachgoer can spot seaweed in the ocean or piling up on the beach, but Florida State University researchers working with colleagues in the United Kingdom have found that these slimy macroalgae play an important role in permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Their work is published in the journal Ecological Monographs by the […]

FSU researchers find tissue environment plays important role in tumor formation

A team of Florida State University researchers used a simple tumor model to show the importance of tissue microenvironment in primary tumor formation. In the journal Developmental Cell, FSU researchers explain how certain signaling pathways define tumor hotspots, tissue microenvironment favorable for tumorigenesis, and show that simple stimulation of a protein can lead directly to […]

Why fly the coop? With shortage of mates, some birds choose to help others raise offspring

It’s not uncommon for young adults to pitch in and help out with the care of younger siblings. But it turns out that sometimes birds choose to become avian au pairs rather than raise their own brood. After a five-year experiment, researchers from Florida State University and the Tallahassee-based Tall Timbers Research Station found that […]

FSU researchers discover a novel protein degradation pathway

Findings May Lead To Better Understanding of Muscular Dystrophy, Other Diseases The nucleus is a treasure trove of biological information that keeps the cell — and thus living organisms — ticking. But many processes within the nucleus remain a mystery to scientists. A Florida State University research team has uncovered one such mystery — how […]

FSU researchers unravel mystery of how, when DNA replicates

A team of Florida State University researchers has unlocked a decades-old mystery about how a critical cellular process is regulated and what that could mean for the future study of genetics. In cells, DNA and its associated material replicate at regular intervals, a process essential to all living organisms. This contributes to everything from how […]

FSU researchers update global record of medically significant scorpions

  Scorpions can be found at every corner of the globe and on six of the seven continents, from the southern tip of South America to the arid expanse of the Sahara Desert. That makes any rigorous accounting of the world’s venomous scorpions — and their various effects on human beings — an extremely tall […]

Scorpion census: FSU researchers update global record of medically significant scorpions

Scorpions can be found at every corner of the globe and on six of the seven continents, from the southern tip of South America to the arid expanse of the Sahara Desert. That makes any rigorous accounting of the world’s venomous scorpions — and their various effects on human beings — an extremely tall task. […]

FSU researcher: Family of rodents may explain how some groups of animals become so diverse

How did a single species of rodent invade South America and then quickly branch off into 350 new species? The answer is simple — the rodents were able to move quickly across the continent unencumbered by geographic boundaries that can’t be easily crossed such as an ocean. FSU Professor of Biological Science Scott Steppan and […]

Recent FSU graduate receives Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Recent Florida State University graduate Taylor Merritt has been awarded a $5,000 fellowship by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Merritt is one of 57 recipients nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. Merritt, a native of Pensacola, received […]

FSU research: Zika suppresses virus-fighting cells

New Study Examines Cellular, Molecular Differences Between Dengue, Zika More than two years after reports of skyrocketing Zika rates surfaced worldwide, questions still loom about this complicated virus. Florida State University researchers are one step closer to finding answers. In an article published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports, Professor of Biological Science Hengli […]