Department of Biological Science

Navigating the corn maze: FSU researchers develop technique to map out ‘light switches’ of maize genome

Getting a full understanding of how genes are regulated is a major goal of scientists worldwide. Now, a Florida State University professor and his research partners have developed a technique that can map out nearly all of the likely regulatory switches across a genome. That knowledge could prove critical for the agriculture field where scientists […]

Magic of science: FSU researchers use gene editing to tackle facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

Roughly 1 out of 15,000 people born suffer from Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), a rare disease that starts with the progressive weakening of facial muscles and then the shoulders and upper body. By the time patients reach their 50s, around one-fifth of them are wheelchair bound.   Now, a team of Florida State University researchers has […]

FSU biology doctoral candidate earns prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship

A Florida State University biological science doctoral student has received an international fellowship to study coral reefs and parrotfish in France this fall.   Marine ecologist Joshua Manning will use the Chateaubriand Fellowship to collaborate with Simon Benhamou, CNRS Research Director at the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CEFE, the largest French research center in Ecology and […]

Snowed in: Research team finds Arctic was dinosaur nursery

Long-standing images of dinosaurs as cold-blooded creatures needing tropical temperatures could be a relic of the past.  University of Alaska Fairbanks and Florida State University paleontologists have found that nearly all types of dinosaurs — from small bird-like forms to the giant tyrannosaurus — not only reproduced in the region, but also remained there year-round.  […]

Mysteries of the heart: FSU researchers find small mutation disrupts protein network, causing heart disease

Each day the average human heart beats 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. It’s a process that is critical to life, and yet it often goes awry for unknown reasons.   “Despite knowing a lot about muscle contraction and the heart in particular, there are still a number of questions scientists have about the underlying structures and […]

Researchers reveal key information about how genes turn on and off

Human bodies have roughly 30,000 genes dictating not only how we look, but also critical biological processes. Now, a Florida State University and Australia National University research team has discovered a key aspect of gene regulation and ultimately how that process is implicated in cancer. Jonathan Dennis, an associate professor of biological science at FSU, and David Tremethick, […]

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 […]