Hot Student Papers

Seasonal determinations of algal virus decay rates reveal overwintering in a temperate freshwater pond

4 Apr 2016 - 4:18pm
Algal viruses

Andrew LongThis week we bring you the Long and Short of the Hot Student Paper series – that is Andrew Long (Ph.D. student) and Prof. Steve Short. And this one is of extra significance, because it is the first lead-authored paper from Andrew’s Ph.D. – CONGRATULATIONS! His paper was just published in The ISME Journal and it is entitled “Seasonal determinations of algal virus decay rates reveal overwintering in a temperate freshwater pond”.

Surfing the biomass size spectrum: some remarks on history, theory, and application

21 Mar 2016 - 8:06am
Lauren Barth on a boat

Would it surprise you to know that there is a rigorous theory underlying the observation that in nature big organisms are much rarer than small ones? In a new paper, PhD student Lauren Barth and her advisor Prof. Gary Sprules review much of the research on the Biomass Size Spectrum, a theory of ecosystem structure and function based solely on the body size of organisms that has been a focus of investigation in the Sprules’ lab. Their paper “Surfing the biomass size spectrum: some remarks on history, theory, and application” was recently published in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences.

Identification of the first insulin-like peptide in the disease vector Rhodnius prolixus: Involvement in metabolic homeostasis of lipids and carbohydrates

3 Mar 2016 - 8:34am
Rhodnius prolixus

U of T is famous for the discovery of insulin. This compound and its analogs continues to fuel intrigue, discoveries and innovation at our university, as demonstrated by the recent paper by PDF Dr. Marina Defferrari (Lange Lab) “Identification of the first insulin-like peptide in the disease vector Rhodnius prolixus: Involvement in metabolic homeostasis of lipids and carbohydrates” in the journal Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Marina identified the first insulin-like peptide in the Chagas disease vector Rhodnius prolixus and investigated its involvement in energy homeostasis both in starved and recently fed insects.

Highly polymorphic microsatellite markers in Pulsatilla vulgaris (Ranunculaceae) using next-generation sequencing

12 Feb 2016 - 2:11pm
Pulsatilla vulgaris, a specialist wildflower of dry grasslands in Europe

Is there a better way to celebrate Darwin Day than with a Hot Student Paper at the cusp of evolution and ecology? Of course not! This week, we highlight a paper by Ph.D. student Michelle DiLeo (Wagner Lab) published in Applications in Plant Sciences entitled “Highly polymorphic microsatellite markers in Pulsatilla vulgaris (Ranunculaceae) using next-generation sequencing”. Pulsatilla vulgaris is a specialist wildflower of dry grasslands in Europe, which has witnessed rapid declines across its range. Its decline is linked to the abandonment of traditional grazing practices, resulting in the severe loss of dry grassland habitat.

Reducing clinical trial risk in multiple sclerosis

15 Jan 2016 - 8:28am
pill capsules and a syringe

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has enjoyed considerable success by the standards of any disease, in terms of the number of new drugs approved for treatment, and many of these drugs represent new mechanisms of action. How have we achieved this success and what might we further capitalize on this momentum? This question was recently tackled by Cassandra De Gasperis-Brigante, a former ROP Biology student working with Dr. Jayson Parker. Together they published “Reducing clinical trial risk in multiple sclerosis” in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

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