Scientists at Work: CTSI-SEED program

CTSI Summer Research Internship When people ask Rachel Hawn how she's spending her summer vacation, they rarely expect the answer they receive. While many her age are stretched out in the sun or toiling at a summer job, Hawn, a junior at Warren Central High School, has been contributing to laboratory research on targeted gene therapy for colorectal and cervical cancer. Hawn's participation in this project has been made possible by the support of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), in partnership with Project SEED, which pairs high school students interested in science and medicine with local research scientists, including many from the Indiana University School of Medicine.  Full Story

Late-stage ovarian cancer therapy shows promise in phase I trial

Lab student

The combination of decitabine and carboplatin appears to improve the outcome of women who have late-stage ovarian cancer. In an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer, Indiana University researchers report four of 10 patients who participated in a phase I clinical trial had no disease progression after six months of treatment. One patient experienced complete resolution of tumor tissue for a period of time. Advanced ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective. Patients are often told they have virtually no chance of recovery and only months to live.

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Deaths in the family cause bacteria to flee

Caulobacter crescentus eDNA

The deaths of nearby relatives have a curious effect on the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus -- surviving cells lose their stickiness. Indiana University Bloomington biologists report in an upcoming issue of Molecular Microbiology that exposure to the extracellular DNA (eDNA) released by dying neighbors stops the sticky holdfasts of living Caulobacter from adhering to surfaces, preventing cells from joining bacterial biofilms. Less sticky cells are more likely to escape established colonies, out to where conditions may be better.

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Chemist Erin Carlson is a Pew Scholar

Erin Carlson

Indiana University Bloomington chemist Erin Carlson is a 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, the Pew Charitable Trusts has announced. The honor and four-year, $240,000 award is intended to give young researchers the wherewithal to explore the uncharted areas of their fields, and to take chances in pursuit of important discoveries. Carlson, an assistant professor of chemistry, is IU Bloomington's second honoree in two years. Biologist Joe Pomerening, IU's first-ever Pew Scholar, was nominated last year.

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IU and Cook Medical unveil new service to help medical breakthroughs reach the marketplace

Cook Medical

For medical researchers and inventors, discovering new innovative technologies is only a first step. To save lives and improve human health, these treatments and devices must make it from the lab to the marketplace -- a process that can be time consuming and filled with roadblocks. In an effort to streamline this process, Indiana University's Pervasive Technology Institute, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and Cook Medical have worked together to create, a unique online service that matches inventors and technology transfer professionals with companies looking to develop their inventions into commercially viable products.

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IU scientists in two collaborations see evidence that rules of particle physics may need a rewrite


Two separate collaborations involving Indiana University scientists have reported new results suggesting unexpected differences between neutrinos and their antiparticle brethren. These results could set the stage for what one IU physicist calls a "radical modification of our understanding of particle physics." The two experiments -- MINOS and MiniBooNE -- in their own unique ways search for a phenomenon where one type, or flavor, of neutrino (there are three: electron, muon and tau) changes into another flavor while traveling through space. Previous experiments, including MINOS, have reported evidence for such transitions, the existence of which indirectly prove that the ghostly neutrinos have non-zero, albeit tiny, masses.

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Fungi adapted to mines boost plant growth

Mine runoff

Repopulating the moon-like terrain around abandoned mines is slow, plodding work, but a new Indiana University Bloomington report in Applied Soil Ecology suggests symbiotic fungi specifically adapted to toxic zones can give colonizing plant partners a strong foothold. Fungi recently adapted to living in the nutrient-poor soils around abandoned coal mines had a significant impact on plant growth -- even plants grown in non-mine soils.

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Previous issue

The June 15, 2010, issue of Discoveries featured IU Bloomington science journalist S. Holly Stocking, who recently partnered with the New York Times on an impressive science writing primer. Also included were stories about evolving sRNA, matter-antimatter physics, lake ecology, six new businesses driven by IU science, and Royal Society awards for chemist Gary Hieftje and biologist Loren Rieseberg.

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