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Life Sciences

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BYU names new interim dean, associate dean and department chairs

June 28, 2022
Academic Vice President Shane Reese announced new administrative appointments, including an interim dean, associate dean and five new department chairs. All these new hires are effective July 1.
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Bunches of Oats: BYU professors untangle oat's evolutionary history for Nature paper

June 13, 2022
For the first time, researchers have sequenced the entire genome of a modern oat, the Swedish variety “Sang.” BYU plant and wildlife sciences professors Jeff Maughan and Rick Jellen played an important role in the international project, sequencing the genomes of two of oat’s ancient progenitors to elucidate its evolutionary history. The group’s findings were recently published as the cover article in top science journal Nature.
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BYU engineers travel to the Arctic, develop innovative radar method to detect polar bears

May 25, 2022
BYU engineering students are testing radar to track polar bears aboveground. If successful, the team’s work would mark a significant step forward in scientists’ ability to track mother polar bears during winter, when they den and give birth to their cubs beneath dense snowpack. Locating and protecting bear dens is important for conservation efforts.
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Cougar Query: "My wife and I have climbed most of the tall peaks in Utah"

May 23, 2022
Cougar Queries are a series profiling BYU employees by asking them questions about their work, interests and life. Today, we meet Paul Savage, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.
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New dean for Undergraduate Education at BYU

May 23, 2022
Brigham Young University Academic Vice President Shane Reese announced the hiring of Richard Gill as the dean of Undergraduate Education effective July 1.
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Going cashless to prevent COVID-19 was useless, new BYU microbiology study finds

May 12, 2022
A new study published in PLOS ONE from BYU scientists finds that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost immediately nonviable if deposited on a cash banknote. The virus actually shows greater stability on plastic money cards, with the live virus still being detected 48 hours after initial deposition, but no viable virus was detected on either cash or card that was randomly sampled in the study.


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BYU Names New Life Sciences Dean and Associate Academic Vice President

April 20, 2022
Brigham Young University Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese announced two university leadership changes this week: Laura C. Bridgewater as dean of the College of Life Sciences and Justin Collings as the associate academic vice president for faculty development.
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Empowering women: A Q&A with the 2022 student commencement speaker

April 18, 2022
At BYU’s commencement exercises this week, University Honors student Emilee Carr will represent the graduates as the student speaker. A molecular biology major with a minor in chemistry, Carr, like her fellow classmates, has accrued many achievements as a BYU undergraduate.
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First-generation college grad will use degree to serve rural, Latino populations

April 15, 2022
The needs Paoloa Piña saw in her hometown motivated her to prepare for a career in healthcare when she came to BYU. Graduating this year with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness and a minor in gerontology, she plans to become a physician assistant specializing in women’s health and wants to work with rural Latino populations.
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BYU earns No. 1 Overall ‘Seed’ in Landscaping Championship; Brings title back to home turf

March 25, 2022
This past week BYU took home its fourth-consecutive National Collegiate Landscape Title, a championship that means BYU is once again best in the land for taking care of land… and water and rocks and trees and shrubs.




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State-funded BYU study finds elk move when hunting season starts — and it's causing problems

February 16, 2022
Research from BYU wildlife sciences professors finds that when hunting season starts, elk in Utah move off of public lands — where they can be hunted — and onto private lands — where they cannot be hunted. And then, when hunting season is over, they shift right back to public lands.



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BYU researchers discover locations of ancient Maya sacred groves of cacao trees

January 31, 2022
BYU researchers led a project to locate the ancient site of Maya cacao tree groves. Their work led them to sinkholes in the Yucatan, where they conducted soil anaylses to confirm evidence of cacao, a plant considered divine by the Maya.
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BYU researchers sequenced the quinoa genome. Now they’re introducing hybrids of the crop to developing nations

January 11, 2022
As soils across the world become less fertile and more desert-like due to climate change, it’s getting harder for farmers, especially those in developing nations, to grow basic life-preserving crops such as corn, wheat and rice.
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BYU research: Higher genetic risk for multiple sclerosis means earlier onset of the disease

December 14, 2021
Scientists at BYU are now zeroing in on a potential clue to unravel how severe a patient’s multiple sclerosis prognosis might look: genetic risk. A new study finds people who have a higher genetic risk for the disease are likely to have accelerated onset of MS.
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BYU study: Want to maximize the health outcomes of fasting? Start your fast with exercise

November 24, 2021
Exercise at the start of a fast can make a big difference. A BYU study finds when participants exercised, they reached ketosis on average three and a half hours earlier in the fast and produced 43% more the ketone-like chemical BHB.
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A megafire induced over a century’s worth of erosion near Utah Lake — but there’s more to the story, say BYU scientists

October 22, 2021
In burned watersheds where the wildfire had consumed stabilizing vegetation and leaf litter, the rain had caused massive erosion. There was a 2,000-fold increase in sediment flux compared to unburned areas, creating a plume of ash and soil moving into Utah Lake that was visible from space.
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BYU joins three medical schools on $4 million NFL study for hamstring injuries

October 18, 2021
Brigham Young University is one of four universities partnering on a new $4 million NFL grant to study the prevention and treatment of hamstring injuries among football players.


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BYU, University of Colorado scientists may have discovered the most lifeless place on Earth

August 12, 2021
A group of scientists from Brigham Young University and the University of Colorado have found a remote location deep in the icy heart of Antarctica’s Transantarctic Mountains where the soil contains no distinguishable sign of life. It represents the first time humans have discovered earthly soil that appears uninhabitable.
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