genetic and biochemical pathways in the common ice plant. The ice plant improves water use efficiency up to 10 times relative to most plants.
Cushman's National Science Foundation-supported research explores a photosynthetic adaptation to water limitation on molecular and biochemical levels. CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism) is a process by which plants take up and store carbon dioxide during the night and refix it slowly during the day, reducing water loss and improving the water use efficiency of photosynthesis so that plants are better able to thrive in hot, dry climates.
"If we can get a better understanding of how this metabolic process is regulated or controlled, we might be able to someday alter the biochemistry of crop plants to make them survive with less water," Cushman said.
The grant will enable several postdoctoral students, graduate students and lab personnel to work on certain aspects of the project, as well as provide undergraduate research training opportunities. Learn more
Developing a New Class of Molecules for Biomaterial and Biopharmaceutical Use
A Syracuse University professor is using Recovery Act funding from the National Science Foundation to expand his study of a new class of water-soluble molecules that can spontaneously self-assemble to form new kinds of materials for use in the biomaterials and biopharmaceutical industries. Ultimately, these materials might be used as a "molecular factory" to make new drugs or as biodegradable implants for tissue regeneration.
Until now, only soap molecules were thought to be able to self-assemble in water. However, SU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Yan-Yeung Luk and his research team recently discovered a new kind of molecule that also can self-assemble in water using a different mechanism than soap. Unlike soap, Luk's new molecule does not contain an oily substance; instead it self-assembles in a micr
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The Science Coalition