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MU Research of Zebrafish Neurons May Lead to Better Understanding of Birth Defects like Spina Bifida

The zebrafish, a tropical freshwater fish similar to a minnow and native to the southeastern Himalayan region, is well established as a key tool for researchers studying human diseases, including brain disorders. Using zebrafish, scientists can determine how individual neurons develop, mature and support basic functions like breathing, swallowing and jaw movement. Researchers at the University of Missouri say that learning about neuronal development and maturation in zebrafish could lead to a better understanding of birth defects such as spina bifida in humans.

NSF Grants $1 Million to MU to Expand Supercomputer Equipment and Expertise for Big Data Analytics at MU

e National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1 million in two grants to the University of Missouri to install a supercomputer enabling data-intensive research and education at MU in fields such as bioinformatics, geoinformatics, high performance computing and engineering applications. The grants also will fund the position of a cyberinfrastructure (CI) engineer at MU. Together, the equipment and expert personnel will lead a network of data analysis capabilities at MU that will be shared with other campuses within the University of Missouri System.

New MU Research Center Enables Multi-Disciplinary Work on Obesity and Related Diseases

This video is available for broadcast-quality download and re-use. For more information, contact Nathan Hurst: hurstn@missouri.edu.

Bacterial “Communication System” Could Be Used to Stop Spreading and Kill Cancer Cells, MU Study Finds

ncer, while always dangerous, truly becomes life-threatening when cancer cells begin to spread to different areas throughout the body. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that a molecule used as a communication system by bacteria can be manipulated to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Senthil Kumar, an assistant research professor and assistant director of the Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says this communication system can be used to “tell” cancer cells how to act, or even to die on command.

Infant Cooing, Babbling Linked to Hearing Ability, MU Researcher Finds

fants’ vocalizations throughout the first year follow a set of predictable steps from crying and cooing to forming syllables and first words. However, previous research had not addressed how the amount of vocalizations may differ between hearing and deaf infants. Now, University of Missouri research shows that infant vocalizations are primarily motivated by infants’ ability to hear their own babbling. Additionally, infants with profound hearing loss who received cochlear implants to help correct their hearing soon reached the vocalization levels of their hearing peers, putting them on track for language development.

CALENDAR ITEM: Jane Goodall to Speak at MU

WHO: World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall will visit the University of Missouri Sept. 17 to speak about her new book, her life and work, and environmental issues.

Babies Learn Words Differently as They Age, MU Researcher Says

search has shown that most 18-month-olds learn an average of two to five new words a day; however, little is known about how children process information to learn new words as they move through the preschool years. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that toddlers learn words differently as they age, and a limit exists as to how many words they can learn each day. These findings could help parents enhance their children’s vocabularies and assist speech-language professionals in developing and refining interventions to help children with language delays.

First Water-Based Nuclear Battery Developed by MU Researcher Can Be Used to Generate Electrical Energy

om cell phones to cars and flashlights, batteries play an important role in everyday life. Scientists and technology companies constantly are seeking ways to improve battery life and efficiency. Now, for the first time using a water-based solution, researchers at the University of Missouri have created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery that could be used for many applications such as a reliable energy source in automobiles and also in complicated applications such as space flight.

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