Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Idaho Researchers Win Grant To Explore DNA Frontier

Three University of Idaho researchers will embark on an unconventional approach to DNA research as one of 20 teams chosen nationwide by federal officials for the ideas to explore scientific frontiers.

Chemist Patrick Hrdlicka and molecular physiologist Madhu Papasani, who are both 32, were the youngest researchers chosen among several hundred applicants. They will be joined on the University of Idaho team by a senior scientist, growth biology Prof. Rod Hill.

The award is the first awarded to researchers in Idaho through the Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration or EUREKA program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The $523,000 R-01 program grant over three years reflects the team’s approach as one that is exceptionally innovative and based on a novel approach that could have an extremely high impact on biomedical research conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

The Idaho team will explore new approaches to gene therapies by using locked nucleic acids or LNAs as invaders to target specific sections of chromosomes. The team will use zebrafish embryos in the study.

Their study will focus on ways to improve the targeting of the invader LNAs through chemical engineering and to show how they can affect the genes.

“We are very excited about having the support to explore this approach,” Papasani said. “We are proud to be recognized as one of the teams that proposed an idea considered both exceptional and unconventional.”

The researchers hope their work could help medical researchers speed the development of new drugs or lead to gene therapies that would be new approaches to treatment of diseases.

"We want to develop a chemical probe technology that binds more strongly to specific genetic sequences and can target many more sequences that is currently possible," Hrdlicka said. "If successful, this technology has the potential to treat diseases of genetic origin."

About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

Bill Loftus | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Changing the Energy Landscape: Affordable Electricity for All
20.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Emmy Noether junior research group investigates new magnetic structures for spintronics applications
11.10.2016 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>