Seventeen Research and Innovation Milestones in 2017 | UChicago News

January 16th, 2018 @   - 

By Diana Kenney

This past year brought us the invention of an oil-soaking sponge, the detection of gravitational waves from two colliding neutron stars, innovative methods for making thinner semiconductors, the launch of several research-based startups, insight into how the developing brain forms memories, and a look back at the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. Here is a look back at 17 highlights in research and innovation at the University and its national and affiliated laboratories in 2017:

‘Smart’ cephalopods adapt by editing genetic code, but sacrifice ability to evolve
Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory showed that the “smart” cephalopods (squid, octopus and cuttlefish) edit their own RNA at extraordinarily high levels, allowing them to diversify the proteins that the cells can produce. The animals’ prolific RNA editing, they found, suppresses the mutation rate in their DNA, suggesting a novel evolutionary pathway to neural sophistication. Read more

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