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News Archive

May 23, 2013 - Post-doctoral student Alejandro Burga Ramos was recently awarded a Jane Coffins Child Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship.

Feb. 22, 2013 - Finding the sources of missing heritability in a yeast cross.

A new study recently released in the journal Nature, with Kruglyak lab graduate student Joshua Bloom as lead author, is gaining national attention and is a featured story on the University website.
Despite years of research, the genetic factors behind many human diseases and characteristics remain unknown. The inability to find the complete genetic causes of family traits such as height or the risk of type 2 diabetes has been called the "missing heritability" problem.
Bloom's research in yeast suggests that missing heritability may not be missing after all, and that heritability in humans may be hidden due only to the limitations of modern research tools. The research has implications for the design of future studies aimed at unraveling heritable variation in humans and other species.
Nature podcast.
Commentary on The Molecular Ecologist.
Nov. 12, 2012 - Predicting phenotype from genotype: Kruglyak quoted in BBC story, "Will we ever… reveal all the secrets of life from DNA?"
Oct. 22, 2012 - Leonid Kruglyak quoted in New York Times article about studying intelligence. 
July 8, 2012 - Arsenic-loving bug theory disproved
In a paper published in Science that is getting wide play in national media, a group of researchers that includes Marshall Reaves, Joshua Rabinowitz, and Leonid Kruglyak from Princeton University, disproves the sensational claim (reported last year in Science) that, under phosphate limiting conditions, arsenate could replace phosphorous in the DNA of a microbe.

The Science abstract reads: A strain of Halomonas bacteria, GFAJ-1, has been claimed to be able to use arsenate as a nutrient when phosphate is limiting, and to specifically incorporate arsenic into its DNA in place of phosphorus. However, we have found that arsenate does not contribute to growth of GFAJ-1 when phosphate is limiting and that DNA purified from cells grown with limiting phosphate and abundant arsenate does not exhibit the spontaneous hydrolysis expected of arsenate ester bonds. Furthermore, mass spectrometry showed that this DNA contains only trace amounts of free arsenate and no detectable covalently bound arsenate.

Full Citation: Absence of Detectable Arsenate in DNA from Arsenate-Grown GFAJ-1 Cells, M. L. Reaves, S. Sinha, J. D. Rabinowitz, L. Kruglyak, R. J. Redfield. Science 1219861Published online 8 July 2012 [DOI:10.1126/science.1219861]
Recent Coverage:
Two Postdoctoral students in the Kruglyak Lab have been awarded Fellowships.
Frank Albert has received a Research Fellowship from the German Science Foundation, and will be working on the genetic basis of gene expression variation in yeast.
Sebastian Treusch is the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, and will work on extending the laboratory's QTL mapping studies to additional S. cerevisiae isolates and other fungi.
Graduate Student Noorossadat Torabi's research is featured on GenomeWeb in connection to a paper she co-authored with Leonid Kruglyak in the July issue of PLoS Genetics

Image from Kruglyak lab featured on PLoS Biology cover
A figure (right) created by former lab member Hannah Seidel is the featured image for the July 2011 issue of PLoS Biology. Dr. Seidel, now at the University of Wisconsin, took the photo while in the Kruglyak lab, and it accompanies her paper, "A novel sperm-delivered toxin causes late-stage embryo lethality and transmission ratio distortion in C. elegans." The paper is also covered in a PLoS Biology Primer, "Invertebrate post-segregation distorters: A new embryo-killing gene."
The article has also has been selected and evaluated by the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), which places the work in their library of the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine.

The photo caption is: Embryos on the left and right have arrested at the 2-fold stage of embryogenesis due to developmental defects caused by the sperm-delivered toxin, PEEL-1. The hatched larvae in the center of the image has developed normally because this animal has inherited a single copy of the antidote gene, zeel-1.
Of Note:
From Bubbles, Bread, and Beer in the  June 22, 2010 New York Times Opinionator- "Studying yeast genes gives us a window into what some of our most essential genes are doing."
Collaboration with Bargmann lab featured on Rockefeller Newswire
The Kruglyak lab's collaboration with Rockefeller University reseacher Cori Bargmann's lab is the subject of a story on the Rockefeller website.  Titled Genes help worms decide where to dine, the piece examines what happens when a microscopic worm ponders whether to stay on a patch of bacteria it is eating, or move on. The research, which is the subject of an April 21 article in Nature, has implications for decision-making across a lot of different animals, according to Bargmann. (5/18/11)

Dr. Kruglyak's presentation at The 3rd Annual Joint Conference on Systems Biology, Regulatory Genomics, and Reverse Engineering Challenges eBriefing is now posted to The New York Academy of Sciences web site. It can be accessed here in the Meeting Report section, under the Genetics Interactions heading. (4/26/11)

Kruglyak paper featured in Science
Biologists at NYU and Princeton Genome Centers Find Genetic Explanation for Evolutionary Change: Location, Location, Location
A gene’s location on a chromosome plays a significant role in shaping how an organism’s traits vary and evolve, according to findings by genome biologists at New York University’s Center for Genomic and Systems Biology and Princeton University’s Lewis-Sigler Institute. The research was conducted by Matthew V. Rockman, an assistant professor at New York University who was previously a postdoctoral student in the Kruglyak lab, as well as Sonja S. Skrovanek and Dr. Kruglyak at Princeton. Their research, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Science, suggests that evolution is less a function of what a physical trait is and more a result of where the genes that affect that trait reside in the genome.  (read more)

Profile of Leonid Kruglyak in The Scientist

Leonid Kruglyak is profiled in current issue of The ScientistThe article describes his research on model organisms, and how he designed experiments designed to tease apart the intricate interactions underlying complex genetic traits in yeast and worms. (8/1/10)
Postdoctoral student Justin Gerke has been selected to receive a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellowship. (7/10)
Leonid Kruglyak has been named to the prestigious Board of Reviewing Editors of Science, effective July 6, 2010.  The international weekly journal is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Members of the board are highly respected leaders in their own fields who also possess the breadth of knowledge to evaluate research outside their own areas.
Writing in the April 15 edition of Nature, scientists led by Leonid Kruglyak report that they have developed a straightforward method for studying millions of yeast cells at the same time. This new way to identify the hidden genetic material responsible for complex traits represents a breakthrough they believe ultimately could lead to a deeper understanding of how multiple genes interact to produce everything from blue eyes to blood pressure problems. (Read more)( 4/15/2010 )  Listen to Dr. Kruglyak's Nature Podcast.
Seidel receives Weintraub Award
Hannah Seidel is one of thirteen graduate students from North America chosen to receive the 2010 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award sponsored by the Basic Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Nominations were solicited internationally; the winners were selected on the basis of the quality, originality and significance of their work. The recipients, all advanced students at or near the completion of their studies in the biological sciences, will participate in a scientific symposium May 7 at the Hutchinson Center. (Read more) (3/8/10)
Kruglyak work on NHGRI panel featured in Nature
Leonid Kruglyak was part of an expert panel the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) convened earlier this year on the problem of missing heritability.  The missing heritability problem refers to the fact that despite major technology advances made possible by the Human Genome Project, and studies of tens of thousands of individuals, the great majority of the genetic factors responsible for differences between individuals in disease susceptibility and in normal traits such as height have not been found.   
Their work has led to a review article in Nature , “Finding the Missing Heritability of Complex Diseases,” reporting the panel's conclusions about the likely sources of this problem and the most promising future research directions for the human genetics community to uncover the genetic basis of human variation.  (10/07/09)
Postdoctoral students Erik Andersen and Ian Ehrenreich received Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards from the NIH. (09/09)
Graduate student Zia Khan's research is featured in the Journal of Proteome Research. (09/09)
Graduate student Joshua Bloom has been selected to receive a 2009 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. 
Graduate student Hannah Seidel's research is featured in The Scientist. (04/09)
Leonid Kruglyak is the subject of an Author column in the March 19 issue of Nature in connection with the lab's Letter in the same issue, "Comprehensive polymorphism survey elucidates population structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae." (3/19/09)
5/27/2008 - Leonid Kruglyak selected Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute