> In the beginning, there were biology, chemistry, and physics. The basic sciences helped answer questions about humans and the world around them for centuries.
> If you have been avoiding shellfish since that brutal attack of gastroenteritis after eating oysters on the halfshell, you may be assuming you are allergic to the tasty delicacies. More likely, you experienced an attack of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterial infection that is the leading cause of seafood gastroenteritis in the U.S.
> When someone is injured or sick, the body springs into action, clotting blood, and fighting infection. These protection mechanisms involve a flurry of activity within the body.
> After years of being viewed as a certain death sentence, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is now considered a chronic health problem that can be managed with medication. But the virus’ ability to mutate and become resistant to drugs makes charting a course of treatment tricky, so physicians disagree on the benefit of early and continuous intervention.
> Inside a lab in Gardner Hall, they are getting drunk, beating up on one another, and getting poked in the eyes. It’s not an instance of out-of-control students, only scores of fruit flies taking part in an international genetics research effort.
> From Polk Hall on NC State’s main campus to a biotechnology research campus being sculpted in the clay of Cabarrus County, University administrators are building toward the future with an eye on the growth of systems biology research.
> Rather than ponder the ages-old question of the chicken and the egg, a group of NC State researchers is using egg-laying chickens and systems biology to answer a more pressing issue: What comes first, ovarian cancer or detectable physiological changes related to the cancer?
> Nematodes are pretty sneaky. The parasitic worms destroy about $100 billion in crops worldwide every year, but many of them do their damage only after somehow conning their way into plant root systems.
> Nature’s design for trees works perfectly for photosynthesis, but not so well for biofuel production. The same stiffness in the wood cells that allows a tree to stand tall and catch as much sunlight as possible means extra processing steps to convert wood into ethanol—steps that add both cost and environmental risk.
> While cloning cows at Texas A&M several years ago, Dr. Jorge Piedrahita noticed that very few of the cloned animals could later reproduce. Cloning somehow disrupts the normal development of the placenta, says Piedrahita, now a professor of molecular biomedical sciences at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.