NIMBioS News
 Bi-Monthly News from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
May/June  2010 - Vol 2, Issue 3
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Number of NIMBioS Participants Surpasses 700
Since the official start of our activities last spring, more than 700 different people have participated in NIMBioS-sponsored events. Participants have come from 28 countries and 48 different states in the U.S, as well as Puerto Rico. A total of 268 different institutions were represented, primarily colleges and universities (87 percent). NIMBioS has hosted 20 Working Group meetings, 5 Investigative Workshops, 2 Tutorials, 28 short-term visitors, and more than 30 outreach and education activities. Read more about it in our 2010 Annual Report to the National Science Foundation.
Featured Science: Plant Pathogens and Speciation
A new commentary on the nature of pathogens is raising startling new questions about the role that fundamental science research on evolution plays in the understanding of emerging disease. Ecological speciation, and specifically speciation that occurs when a subset of a population shifts onto a novel host, is one of the main routes for the emergence of new fungal diseases in plants, argue the authors of a new paper published online in Trends in Ecology & Evolution.
Citation: Giraud T, Gladieux P, Gavrilets S. Linking the emergence of fungal plant diseases with ecological speciation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. In press.
Education Spotlight: Summer Research for Undergrads, Vet Students Begins
reu Sixteen students and two high school teachers from 16 different institutions arrived at NIMBioS this week to participate in this year's eight-week long summer research program. Participants live on campus at UT-Knoxville and work in teams with UT faculty. Research topics focus at the interface of mathematics and biology and include two topics of interest to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, modeling the effects of climate change on ant foraging behavior in the park and predicting the park's biodiversity. The other research topics are modeling Johne's disease in cattle, the growth and development of plant pathogens, and the dynamics of cat and dog populations in cities.
Video Feature: The Evolution of the Protein
mao Proteins are the workhorses of biological processes. Because the origins of many diseases lie in the malfunction of proteins, a better understanding of how proteins behave could lead to new discoveries in medicine. Dr. Yi Mao, a postdoctoral fellow NIMBioS, studies the role that enzymatic proteins play in biological energy production and the physical principles that drive protein evolution. In the video, Mao discusses her research and why the evolution of the protein is fascinating. Mao joined NIMBioS in August 2009. Click here for more information about Dr. Mao's work with proteins. 
Upcoming Research and Education Opportunities at NIMBioS
NIMBioS is now accepting applications for the NIMBioS Tutorial: Graph Theory and Biological Networks to be held August 16-18, 2010, at NIMBioS. This tutorial invites participants to learn more about graph theory. The tutorial is geared toward biologists, mathematicians and computer scientists who will learn how graph theory is useful in understanding biological phenomena, ranging from molecular to cellular to population levels with ecological and medical applications. Application deadline: June 16, 2010. Click here to apply.
NIMBioS is now accepting applications for the NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Mathematical Modeling of Wildlife and Virus Zoonoses to be held Nov. 8-10, 2010, at NIMBioS. The focus of the workshop is to define, discuss, and develop approaches to collaboratively address critical gaps that remain in mathematical modeling of the ecology and natural history of zoonotic viruses, Application deadline: August 6, 2010. For more information about the workshop and how to apply, click here.
NIMBioS is now accepting applications for the NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Solid Tumor Modeling to be held Jan. 19-21, 2011, at NIMBioS. Current achievements and challenges in modeling solid tumors in the human body will be discussed, and areas that could improve our understanding of tumor development and treatment will be identified. The main focus will be on modeling tumor level cancer progression. Application deadline: October 15. For more information about the workshop and how to apply, click here.
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The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is funded by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

NIMBioS is located on the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus
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