Plants as water monitors

By designing a new protein for a common plant, Missouri S&T students can identify contaminated groundwater in the environment and assure homeowners that their drinking water is clean from pollutants.

Missouri S&T’s chapter of iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation, presented its research findings during the iGEM 2017 Giant Jamboree Nov. 9–13 in Boston.

The project, titled “Detectable Bio-Sensing Processes in Arabidopsis,” uses thale cress, a common weed in Europe and Asia, as a model plant to biologically sense groundwater contaminated by the chemical trichloroethylene, which is commonly used in industrial solvents.

The Missouri S&T iGEM team has designed a protein that binds across a plasma membrane in the plant’s cells to trap trichloroethylene. The plant detects the chemical contaminant and then turns “clearer” to indicate exposure. Thale cress could be planted around factories to verify that proper decontamination standards are being met or even could be used as house plants to ensure the cleanliness of drinking water.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

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Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

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Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

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Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

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Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

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