News & Highlights
Aug – Sept 2018
- New preprint: The origin of animals as microbial host volumes in nutrient-limited seas
- NASA Space Fellow Cathryn Sephus joins the lab. Welcome Cathryn!
- Postdoc Amanda Garcia delivers a guest lecture for ECOL-296 Seminar in Bioinformatics.
- Postdoc Amanda Garcia travels to Georgia Tech to represent the Kacar Lab during the NASA Astrobiology Executive Council Meeting.
June – July 2018
- Postdoc Amanda Garcia is selected to be a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow!
- Postdoc Amanda Garcia attends the MBL Molecular Evolution Workshop, Woods Hole, MA.
- Graduate student Pearl Lam attend and presents a poster during the SEED Conference.
- Graduate student Pearl Lam attends the 2018 Data Intensive Biology Summer Institute at UC Davis.
- New publication: New article outlines how geochemical organization preceded polymeric information in RNA world.
- New grant! John Templeton Foundation approves our grant to conduct new research at the UA!
- MCB undergrads Benji Knapp and Sofia Jacobson join the lab.
- Incoming postdoc Amanda Garcia receives a NASA Astrobiology Collaboration Award!
- Undergraduate Hanon McShea is headed to Stanford to obtain a PhD degree.
- Ross Monasky joins the lab as a Research Specialist.
- Betul is named NASA Early Career Fellow.
- Pearl Lam’s SEED abstract is accepted for poster presentation.
- Ryan Ward is rewarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in France.
- Hanon McShea receives an NSF GRFP award.
- New NASA grant! Our collaborative proposal titled “Understanding Translation through Experimental Evolution,” submitted to the Joint NASA-NSF Ideas Lab “Origins of Life” is funded. Thank you NASA!
January – March 2018
- We moved to the University of Arizona!
- Pearl Lam joins the lab as a graduate student.
- We hosted our first visitor: Ryan Ward!
- Betul delivers a talk during the Flandrau Planetarium Exoplanet Lecture series.
- Betul will serve on the steering committee for a newly funded NSF research coordination network directed by Chris Kempes at the Santa Fe Institute.
- Hanon delivers a Harvard Origins Chalk Talk titled “Reconstructing Ancestral Nitrogenases Reveals Ancient Redox-Linked Selective Pressure”
- We officially left Harvard University. Thank you Edwards Lab, OEB, MCZ Labs, Origins and EPS for all the support over the past years!
- Betul Kacar gives a talk at the Library of Congress
- Hanon McShea presents their work on ancient nitrogenases in Tokyo, Japan.
- Hope Dang joins the lab as a visiting research assistant.
- New Press: NASA profiles the career path of Betul
- New Press: Astrobiology Magazine features our work on ancient Rubisco proteins
- New Press: NASA Astrobiology Institute features our recent Geobiology paper, The Great Oxidation Event and the Rubisco Family Tree
- New Publication: Functional Constraints on Replacing an Essential Gene with Its Ancient and Modern Homologs
- New Preprint: Paleophenotype Reconstruction Of Carbon Fixation Proteins As A Window Into Historic Biological States
- Betul gives a talk titled “Life, Resurrected : Traveling Backwards in Evolutionary Time” at the NASA Nationwide (NNW) consortium
- New Publication: Constraining the timing of the Great Oxidation Event within the Rubisco phylogenetic tree
- Hanon presents our recent work titled: Evolution of Precambrian Nitrogenase Proteins at the 1st Geobiology Society Conference at Banff, Canada
- New Press: New Scientist interviews Betul and highlights our recent work on ancient Rubisco proteins
- Betul is invited to speak at the UConn/MIT Biogeochemical Dating in Deep Time Workshop (May 11-13)
- Betul Kacar and Anna Donovan travels to Mesa, AZ to attend AbSciCon
- Betul delivers an Origins of Life plenary lecture during the Astrobiology Science Conference
- Phil Trans A paper is accepted!
- New NSF grant! Our collaborative proposal titled “Biochemical, Genetic, Metabolic, and Isotopic Constraints on an Ancient Thiobiosphere” is funded by the National Science Foundation. Thank you NSF!
- Microbiology Journal Club discusses our recent experimental evolution paper. Ancient genes in modern times: Watch it on YouTube
- New Publication: Our new paper titled Experimental Evolution of Escherichia coli Harboring an Ancient Translation Protein is published in J Mol Evol.
- We have a new lab Tardigrade pet.
- Betul co-organizes and delivers a talk during the Proto-computation and Proto-life Workshop at Harvard University.
- New Preprint: Checkout our recent preprint: Functional constraints on replacing an essential gene with its ancient and modern homologs
- Hanon McShea, an OEB undergraduate joins the lab.
- Cierra Armstrong, an undergraduate from Cape Cod Community College joins the lab as a visiting fellow.
- New funding: Our work on Rubisco proteins receive ELSI Origins Network Seed Grant
- New publication: Betul publishes a chapter in Chance in Evolution (Eds R Ramsey and C Pence) titled “Rolling the Dice Twice: Evolving Reconstructed Ancient Proteins in Extant Organisms”.
- Eva Garmendia receives the Best Poster Award by the Swedish Society of Microbiology – her poster is titled “Functional constraints on replacing an essential gene with its ancient and modern homologs”.
- New Press: Our work is featured in Turkish nature and conservation magazine MAGMA.
- Bard College undergraduates start evolving our engineered ancient-modern E. coli bacteria as a part of their Evolution I Lab, lead by Prof. Gabriel Perron. Cool!
- Ryan Ward, an undergraduate at Harvard College Chemical /Physical Biology joins the lab.
- Alex Plesa receives 3rd place during the MSI Undergraduate Research Symposium!
- Betul Kacar attends the NASA/NSF Ideas Lab in MD.
- Betul presents our work at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.
- Betul Kacar attends the NASA Agnostic Life Workshop in DC.
- Betul Kacar presents our work at the NASA Astrobiology Institute Executive Council Meeting in Flat Head Lake Biological Station, MT.
- Betul presents our work during a public outreach event in Bosnia – Herzegovina!
- PI Betul Kacar gets selected to participate the NASA/NSF Ideas Lab! Ideas Lab is an intensive, interactive and free-thinking workshop, which will lead to invitation of full proposal submission by either NSF or NASA.
- PI Betul Kacar presents our work during the NSF BEACON Symposium on Evolution in Action.
- Eva Garmendia and Betul Kacar presents during the ASM Microbial Evolution Meeting in DC. PI Betul Kacar is one of the organizers of this meeting!
- PI Betul Kacar attends NASA NEXSS Exoplanet Biosignatures Workshop in Seattle.
- Congratulations to Alex Plesa and Anna Donovan for successfully completing their MSI Microbial Sciences Undergraduate Scholarship Program!
- Betul Kacar talks about our work during a public outreach event in Brkco, Bosnia-Herzegovina! This event is covered by the Bosnian National TV!
- The Astrobiology Primer 2.o, co-authored by PI Betul Kacar is an open access education material and published in the journal Astrobiology!
- We started our evolution experiments!
- Betul joins to the NASA Astrobiology Institute Reliving the History of Life Can7 team as a Co-I.
- Gökçe writes for SciWorthy about our work, her online article is titled: Understanding cell interactions through experimental evolution.
- Anna Donovan gets accepted to the BMSIS Young Scientist Program.
- Science Club for Girls Media Team features our work and interviews Betül in an “Bill Nye” style Astrobiology Video, debuted during the Cambridge Science Festival.
- Betul presents our work to a group of astrophysics, geologists and astrobiologists at the McGill Space Institute, Montréal, Canada.
- Congratulations Anna Donovan and Alex Plesa for getting accepted to the Harvard MSI Summer Research Program. Anna and Alex will be with us during the Summer 2016.
- NASA Astrobiology Institute features Betul’s interview with the WGBH Forum Network on their main website: https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/betul-kacar-on-paleogenomics/
- Checkout our recent preprint: Experimental evolution of modern Escherichia coli harboring an ancient Elongation Factor gene We welcome comments and suggestions
- Eva Garmendia is interviewed regarding her outreach activity in Uppsala, Sweden: http://www.scifest.uu.se/tre-utstallare
- Templeton Foundation features our work: Why are scientists reconstructing ancient genes?
- Gökçe Senger engaged a group of over twenty students at the Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey: http://www.bmsis.org/news/page/2/
- It is official! We moved into our new space and looking forward to hacking the past in the MCZ Labs during the next three years. Thank you OEB & Edwards Lab!