Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry Department News

Viewing posts for the category Biochemistry

Biochemistry Professor and Students Solve a Birth-Defect Mystery

Posted: Sep 12, 2012

The cellular cause of birth defects like cleft palates, missing teeth and problems with fingers and toes has been a tricky puzzle for scientists.

Now Professor Emily Bates and her biochemistry students at Brigham Young University have placed an important piece of the developmental puzzle. They studied an ion channel that regulates the electrical charge of a cell. In a new study published by the journal Development, they show that blocking this channel disrupts the ...

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Dr. Emily Bates: Running and Research

Posted: Aug 08, 2012

In her spare time between researching cancer and migraine drugs, mapping genes, and teaching chemistry classes Professor Emily Bates still has time to run marathons, and win them.

 Professor Bates is currently working on three very exciting research projects. The first project concerns Ectodermal Dysplasia, a dominantly inherited disease. Ectodermal Dysplasia causes digit and nail disfiguration, abnormal teeth, abnormal hair growth (i.e. eyebrows are backwards), dysfunctional tear ducts, and abnormal face patterning. Bates is ...

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Predicting Premature Birth

Posted: Aug 15, 2011

Though more than one in 10 American babies are born prematurely, there have been few clues to predict whether a particular baby is going to arrive too early - until now.

A new BYU-U of U study suggests that more than 80 percent of pre-term births can be predicted with a blood test from a mother who is 24 weeks pregnant. BYU chemistry professor Steven W. Graves (BA '69) and the U's Sean Esplin found ...

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Three New BYU Studies Explore How HIV Changes and Reproduces

Posted: Apr 29, 2011

Years ago, identical twin baby boys received a blood transfusion tainted with HIV. Today, one twin is relatively healthy with a near-normal immune system, but his brother is five years behind on the growth chart and has developed many complications.

A BYU research team studied how the virus evolved differently in each patient and published one of three recent BYU studies on the deadly virus. Another study analyzed the genetic changes in the virus during ...

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Graduating Senior Receives Prestigious Fellowship From the National Science Foundation

Posted: Apr 13, 2011

Brandon Gassaway, a senior graduating in biochemistry this spring, was pleased to find out he had received a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The grant was awarded to him due to a research proposal he wrote and will fund his PhD studies in the fall.

Every year, the National Science Foundation awards about two thousand grants to prospective graduate students or graduate students who are no more than ...

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Professor Researches Cure for Preeclampsia

Posted: Jan 25, 2011

There is a disease that only pregnant women can get: preeclampsia. It is responsible for up to 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths every year, according to the official preeclampsia website.

Though relatively easy to diagnose, there are currently no effective treatments for preeclampsia and no known cause. Characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, preeclampsia is closely related to pregnancy-induced hypertension. If the disease progresses, the only solution is ...

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Biochem Prof Wins Award for Sponsored Funding

Posted: Jan 10, 2011

Recently at the Annual University Conference, Barry Willardson, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received the Sponsored Research Recognition Award. This was to recognize his outstanding achievements in scholarly activities funded by external funding for his research. Willardson’s work has focused on important research problems in medicine and health.

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A Study by Dr. Barry Willardson and Co-Workers Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Posted: Dec 14, 2009

A study by Dr. Barry Willardson and graduate student Nathan Itoga was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal for their work with G proteins. PNAS is regarded as one of the top scientific journals in the world. The study describes the flexibility of G proteins when combined with certain binding partners. The findings will aid the development of drugs to counter diseases that disrupt G-protein signaling. Dr. Willardson was invited to ...

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