Decoding Mitochondrial Transcription

Well beyond the reach of unaided sight lies the genesis of energy we use every day to lift a cup of coffee, climb a mountain or twitch an eyelid. That is, we do when our cells are functioning properly. Many cases in which they’re not can be tied back to the specialized compartments in our… Continue Reading →

Software Development as Community Outreach

If you’re asked to imagine a “life-changing” app — go ahead, try it — do you flash back several summers to Pokémon Go, the sensation that pulled thousands outdoors to re-experience the world around them? Dr. Mike Jipping is proving that an app need not be flashy or viral to profoundly, positively alter lives. He’s… Continue Reading →

Shifting Chemistry into Reverse

From the outside peering in, a great deal of organic chemistry looks like salt and water: white powders and transparent liquids. Yet this branch of science is prolific in creating the things we use every day — toothbrushes, medications, milk jugs and other ubiquitous consumer products. The field has built these things so well, in… Continue Reading →

Investigating How Cells Recognize Good and Bad Fats

We may have to check the nutrition label to know the amounts of saturated and unsaturated fats we’re consuming, but for our cells, this tallying is second nature. Scientists have known for years that cells absorb, process and use fats; that they can change saturated fats to unsaturated ones; and that they recognize the difference… Continue Reading →

From Industrial Glitch to Research Focus

One engineer’s problem may just be another scientist’s solution. At least, that seems to be the case with a curious physics phenomenon known as microplasma. Dr. Stephen Remillard has seen it from both sides: as a problem during his earlier career as an industrial physicist, and as a surprisingly useful phenomenon now that he’s a… Continue Reading →

Hope Goes Viral

While the fight against viral and bacterial human pathogens stretches back to the dawn of human history, on some fronts we have yet to mount an effective defense. At the nanoscopic level, viruses have been infiltrating and using our cells with impunity for as long as they and we have existed. The battle against pathogenic… Continue Reading →

Taking Computational Chemistry to the Next Level

For many, chemistry brings to mind the apparatus: ethereal blue flames, miles of plastic tubing with interestingly-colored chemicals snaking through, and — perhaps above all else — test tubes and beakers of all shapes and sizes. But for Dr. Brent Krueger, chemistry research often occurs on a computer screen, in the form of molecular models.… Continue Reading →

For the Next Generation of Batteries, a Plentiful Compound Shows Promise

Dr. Jennifer Hampton is captivated by interesting materials — especially those in the electrifying world of electrochemistry. She’s currently studying iron hexacyanoferrate, better known as Prussian blue. This name, unsurprisingly, comes from the compound’s striking hue. Prussian blue has been used as a colorant in numerous applications, from the paint of van Gogh’s “Starry Night”… Continue Reading →

Mapping the Trees’ Tree of Life: The Genetic Lineages of North American Hazelnuts

Life — in all its varied forms and interactions — is one of the Earth’s most studied mysteries, one that scientists have spent centuries unraveling. Among them is botanist Dr. Jianhua Li, who is ranging through continents and (thanks to the insights of DNA) through time to uncover the branching trees of life of various,… Continue Reading →

Investigating the Dynamic between Health and Faith

Dr. Alyssa Cheadle is a Christian and a psychologist. In the United States, it’s an unlikely combination; according to Cheadle, psychologists are among the least religious academics. As a health psychologist, she develops insights into many aspects of physical health that are affected by mental health, and vice versa, in her prolific research output. But… Continue Reading →

Why Do Wetlands Come and Go Between Dunes?

“On Sunday afternoons, after church and dinner, one of my favorite places to go was the area that’s now called the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area,” said Professor Suzanne DeVries-Zimmerman ’82, a West Michigan native and assistant professor of geological and environmental science instruction. “I just thought the whole area was fascinating — these wetlands in… Continue Reading →

What Makes Athletes Tick?

From the start, it’s been go, go, go for Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Femi Oluyedun. (Growing up with three brothers may have contributed to that lifestyle and mindset.) From a childhood immersed in sports to a stint on Wabash College’s soccer team as an undergraduate psychology major, through his years of study for his… Continue Reading →

Delving Deep into Zebrafish Brains for Clues about the Sense of Smell and Adaptation to Climate Change

To Dr. Erika Calvo-Ochoa, science is about storytelling. Diminutive zebrafish, with their perpetually surprised expressions and uncannily keen sense of smell, are her striped protagonists. Small though they are, it’s their even tinier neurons that are the focus in Calvo-Ochoa’s laboratory. With student researchers, the molecular neuroscientist is studying olfaction and neural recovery in this… Continue Reading →

A Duet of Music and Computer Programming Brings a Concerto, and a Dream, to Life

Dr. Matt DeJongh laps up languages: computer, verbal, musical. So when it came time to begin his 2022–2023 sabbatical research project, there were many directions he could’ve taken. There was, however, one especially compelling aspiration DeJongh believed a computer could make a reality if it were programmed just right. “My project stems from a very… Continue Reading →