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Mercyhurst University's new DNA sequencer to accelerate scientific research in region
Date:4/5/2013

is typically found at large medical institutions and major research universities, not at a small, independent, undergraduate university such as Mercyhurst," Mauro said. "Receiving this grant speaks volumes to the reputation of the sciences at Mercyhurst and will enable us to further strengthen our research initiatives and increase career opportunities for our students and, to the extent we can, advance the scientific needs of our community."

Currently, five full-time biology faculty members will use the machine for ongoing water quality studies in their respective fields, which include identification of bacterial and viral pathogens in recreational waters, investigation of the cause of tumor incidence in fish, physiological response of insects to global warming and exploration of soil conditions that stimulate vegetable production. One professor from the chemistry and biochemistry department will use it to examine the interaction of organisms with chemicals of concern in the environment.

While more than a dozen Mercyhurst projects will be impacted, Mauro estimated that as many as 30 researchers and up to 100 undergraduate students in the area would receive training on the machine annually.

Tim Cooney, manager of basic science research at UPMC Hamot, anticipates being among them.

"We applaud Steve's effort to obtain grant money for this equipment," Cooney said. "The acquisition of a DNA sequencer adds to this region's research armamentarium, further broadening the scope of studies we can conceptualize and implement. This can run the spectrum from bacterial speciation to using genotypic analysis to help disclose propensity for certain diseases or pathologic states."


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Contact: Debbie Morton
dmorton@mercyhurst.edu
814-824-2552
Mercyhurst College
Source:Eurekalert

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