Saving the bats

White-nose syndrome kills bats by the millions. If not stopped, it could disrupt an entire ecosystem. But a group of Missouri S&T students learned that a compound found in citrus fruit can slow the disease.

lucifugus-386901_1920

Caused by a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, white-nose syndrome strikes during bats’ winter hibernation when their immune systems are essentially dormant. Often it causes them to wake before spring arrives. If they wake early, many bats starve to death because their main food source, small flying insects like mosquitos, have not yet hatched.

Biological sciences students in Missouri S&T’s chapter of iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation, discovered that ocimene, a compound found in oranges, slows the growth of the fungus, and could help bats hibernate through the entire winter. Once they awaken, their immune systems can begin to combat the disease naturally.

The students, led by David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences, and Katie Shannon, associate teaching professor of biological sciences, won a bronze medal for their project, titled “Defending North American Bats from the Emerging White-nose Epidemic,” at the iGEM 2015 Giant Jamboree last fall.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

[Read More...]

Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

[Read More...]

Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

[Read More...]

Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

[Read More...]

Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

[Read More...]