CAHNR in the news

newspaper readersUConn Today reported on research into Connecticut’s deer and bobcat populations and distribution by Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) Assistant Professor Tracy Rittenhouse and graduate student Jennifer Kilburn. The article also mention that another research scientist in NRE, Min Huang, is collecting data on birds for a whole year to update a previous version of the Connecticut Bird Atlas. See also Associated Press.

AARP website discussed heat stroke and dehydration in older adults. The article included quotes from kinesiology graduate student Luke Belval about recognizing dehydration, what to do when a person seems to be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke and advice about using sunscreen. Belval is on the staff of the Korey Stringer Institute.

Wethersfield Life featured photos of a Holidays of Wethersfield exhibit at the Wethersfield Historical Society. The photos show displays depicting cultural holidays and other traditions celebrated by Wethersfield residents. One of the collaborators for the project was People Empowering People (PEP), a program of UConn Extension.

UConn Today featured several mirrored videos, including one of Horsebarn Hill.

By Patsy Evans

Meet graduate student Jingyue Duan

Jingyue (Ellie) Duan
Jingyue (Ellie) Duan

When graduate student Jingyue (Ellie) Duan completes her Ph.D. degree in animal epigenetics, she hopes to continue her studies before accepting a position as a research professor. As a Chinese exchange student, she misses her homeland, but has grown to appreciate life in Storrs, where she met her husband, also an exchange student from China. She says they never would have met at home, as they are from entirely different regions of China. Here is what she said in an interview.

Where did you study as an undergraduate? What was your major? I studied at Sichuan University (SCU) in the Department of Life Science and Biology. My major was biology with a focus on biotechnology and food microbiology. I came to UConn in my senior year in 2013 via the SCU-UConn 3+2 program. I finished my undergrad honor thesis in Dr. Venkitanarayanan‘s lab the Department of Animal Science and graduated from SCU in 2014.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school? Since high school, I have always been curious about biology and scientific discovery. I knew that I was the path to be a scientist. I made up my mind to go to grad school after getting involved in research while an undergraduate. I enjoyed doing research and working with a group of passionate people. Graduate school allows me to learn and experience that.

Who is your advisor? What is your field of research? My advisor is Dr. Xiuchun (Cindy) Tian. I’m interested in X chromosome dosage compensation and genomic imprinting. These two are important epigenetic phenomena that have been intensively studied in humans and mice, but not too much work has been done on large animals. I use bioinformatics tools to analyze the gene expression and epigenetic changes in sheep and cattle. Continue reading

Programming of bovine stem cells from adult cells may help improve human and animal health

Yong Tang (pointing at screen) and his graduate students examine human iPSCs they generated using "super" OCT4 fusion proteins.
Yong Tang (pointing at screen) and his graduate students examine human iPSCs they generated using “super” OCT4 fusion proteins.

Young Tang, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, is intrigued by unanswered questions. Tang is currently engaged in an intricate study, a large-scale next-generation genomic analysis that may help improve both human and bovine health.

The study involves induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which hold great promise for regenerative medicine. Human pluripotent stem cells are self-replicating and can be developed into all other cells types in the body, which could provide a source of replacement cells for those lost to damage or disease. The most well-known type of pluripotent stem cell is the embryonic stem cell, but due to the controversy surrounding this type of stem cell, scientists have been seeking alternatives. iPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells such as skin cells. This technology was developed at Shinya Yamanaka’s laboratory in Japan.

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