Search Results for: research organisms

NIH Director Blogs About Value of Model Organisms in Drug Discovery Research

Treating yeast cells with the NAB compound reverses the toxic effects of elevated levels of alpha synuclein protein. Credit: Daniel Tardiff, Whitehead Institute. View larger image These eye-catching images and the NIGMS-funded research that yielded them were recently featured by NIH Director Francis Collins on his blog. Scientists led by a team at the Whitehead …

Amazing Organisms and the Lessons They Can Teach Us

What do you have in common with rodents, birds, and reptiles? A lot more than you might think. These creatures have organs and body systems very similar to our own: a skeleton, digestive tract, brain, nervous system, heart, network of blood vessels, and more. Even so-called “simple” organisms such as insects and worms use essentially …

Bit by the Research Bug: Priscilla’s Growth as a Scientist

This is the third post in a new series highlighting NIGMS’ efforts toward developing a robust, diverse and well-trained scientific workforce. Credit: Christa Reynolds. Priscilla Del Valle Academic Institution: The University of Texas at El Paso Major: Microbiology Minors: Sociology and Biomedical Engineering Mentor: Charles Spencer Favorite Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by …

Field Focus: Progress in RNA Interference Research

Scientists first noticed what would later prove to be RNA interference when puzzling over an unexpected loss of color in petunia petals. Subsequent studies in roundworms revealed that double-stranded RNA can inactivate specific genes. Credit: Alisa Z. Machalek. In less than two decades, RNA interference (RNAi)—a natural process cells use to inactivate, or silence, specific …

How Heat-Loving Organisms Are Helping Advance Medicine

Icelandic hot springs are the natural habitat of Rhodothermus marinus, one of many species of thermophiles that the Gennis Lab studies to better understand membrane proteins. Credit: Stock image. As the temperature climbs, most humans look for ways to cool down fast. But for some species of microorganisms, a midsummer heat wave isn’t nearly hot …

Biology Beyond the Lab: Using Computers to Study Life

“You’re not going to be able to do biology without understanding programming in the future,” Melissa Wilson, Ph.D., an associate professor of genomics, evolution, and bioinformatics at Arizona State University, said in her 2019 NIGMS Early Career Investigator Lecture. “You don’t have to be an expert programmer. But without understanding programming, I can assert you …

Quiz: Are You a Genetics Genius?

Genes are segments of DNA. They contain instructions for building one or more molecules that help the body work. Researchers in the field of genetics study genes and heredity—how certain traits are passed from parents to their offspring through DNA. NIGMS supports many scientists who investigate the genetics of people and research organisms to better understand …

Cool Images: Wondrous Worms

The tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most common research organisms—creatures scientists use to study life. While C. elegans may seem drastically different from humans, it shares many genes and molecular pathways with us. Viewed with a microscope, the worm can also be surprisingly beautiful. Aside from the stunning imagery, these examples from …