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Veterinary scientist lands $10.5 million contract

Montana State University-Bozeman has received a $10.5 million federal contract to help fight bioterrorism, says Mark Jutila, an immunology professor who is heading the project. The purpose of the five-year contract is to find a compound that will enhance the body's natural immune system so people can better resist infectious agents that may be introduced naturally or through bioterrorism. The contract was awarded from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The project will involve LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Bozeman and will focus on a specific cell in the intestine known as the gamma/delta T-cell. It's located at one of the many portals that a pathogen can enter the body.

More proof of nurturing dinosaurs

dinosaur photo courtesy of Dalian Natural History Museum

An adult dinosaur from China, found beautifully preserved with 34 babies tucked nearby, is potent additional evidence for the theory that dinosaurs cared for their young, said Montana State University paleontology assistant professor David Varricchio, one of five authors of a paper describing the specimen. The paper, published in the Sept. 9 edition of "Nature," was titled "Parental care in an ornithischian dinosaur." It described an adult Psittacosaurus—a plant-eating dinosaur smaller than a black Labrador—and 34 young found in northern China in 2003. The skeletons are completely articulated, meaning the bones are intact and assembled as they were in the live animals. The adult and young were found upright with their legs tucked underneath.

$10 million grant funds Lariat network

Researchers who live in urban states with high-speed Internet connections can do a lot of things that Montana scientists can't do. The situation will improve, however, with the formation of a new high-speed fiber-based telecommunications network for biomedical researchers in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada. MSU received a $9.89 million award from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health to lead an effort to develop and implement that network. The network, called Lariat, will let scientists and educators take advantage of the remote research resources, collaborations and expertise that are available to scientists in other areas of the country. Lariat is expected to take two to three years to complete and is intended to be a model for future projects elsewhere.

Ward leads major project of Yellowstone microbes

Whether microbes belong to one big gene pool or numerous smaller ones doesn't sound like the stuff of controversy. But among the microbiologists of the world, the issue is big enough that the National Science Foundation put up $5 million to try to settle the question using microbes in Yellowstone National Park. Dave Ward, professor of microbial ecology at Montana State University, is spearheading the five-year project that will take a closer look at the colorful bacteria that grow in communities called mats in Yellowstone hot springs.

International water expert speaks in Bozeman

Ismail Serageldin, "one of the most important voices on the issue of water and sustainable development in the last decade," gave the keynote address at an international colloquium held May 9-12 at the Museum of the Rockies. Devoted to protecting public health in small water systems, the colloquium was attended by experts from 15 nations. Results of their discussions will be compiled into a report that will be circulated worldwide, said Tim Ford, conference director and head of MSU's microbiology department. Serageldin has an international reputation regarding safe drinking water, particularly in water-scarce nations with limited resources. He is director general of the Library of Alexander in Egypt and special advisor to the World Bank.

New Wheat
(photo Annette Trinity-Stevens)

New wheats on the horizon

Two new wheat varieties neared release this year. One, a hard red spring wheat named Choteau, is resistant to wheat stem sawfly. The other, a winter wheat called MTCL01159, incorporates a technology developed by the BASF chemical company that makes the plants tolerant to imidazolinone herbicide. Growers can plant it in areas inundated with wild oats or other hard-to-control weeds. Choteau was grown as foundation seed last summer with a public release expected next year. It was developed through traditional plant breeding methods. MTCL01159 was in the process of being licensed at press time. The technology involves transferring a normal mutation into the wheat and does not involve genetic engineering, said John Sherwood, head of the plant sciences and plant pathology department at MSU.

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Aspen and willows tell Yellowstone tales | Historians smiling with boost from federal grants
Montanans hope dinosaur trail leads to tourist dollars | She never said, "Let them eat cake"
Students forgo lawn mowing and painting for submarines and ships
Fuel cells electrify researchers and students | Researchers fling nano—weapons at lung disease
Students tune radio to sage grouse | Roving sheep chew on Montana weeds
Center pairs bootstrapping companies with MSU students
Program on Crow Reservation sends a healthy message | Foreword
Research Notes | Faculty and Student Awards | Research Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2004 | Home

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