Astronomy and Physics major Brianne Meyer has been invited by the Delta of Texas Chapter at TCU to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the US. TCU is one of less than 10% of universities that have chapters of PBK and the number of inductees each year is limited. It is relatively rare for a student to qualify for this high academic honor in their junior year as Brianne has. Congratulations to Brianne!
Fourth Generation Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV): Joint Operations Workshop was hosted by the TCU Department of Physics & Astronomy on April 6, 2013. Over the past fourteen years, a consortium of universities and international partners, along with the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Sloan Foundation, have executed three Sloan Digital Sky Survey projects (SDSS-I, -II, and -III). These projects created an extraordinary legacy of mapping structure across a vast range of scales, from asteroids in our own Solar System to quasars over 10 billion light-years away. SDSS-IV will expand this legacy by studying the detailed assembly history of the Milky Way and thousands of other nearby galaxies, and extending precision measurements of expansion to the cosmic epochs when dark energy first became important. The SDSS-IV surveys (APOGEE, MaNGA and eBOSS, including TDSS and SPIDERS) will use the Sloan Foundation 2.5-m Telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO) in New Mexico from July 2014 to July 2020. The SDSS facilitys key advantage is its wide-field spectrographs that observe many objects simultaneously, spreading the light of each into its separate wavelengths, yielding a spectrum that allows the study of each objects detailed physical nature. These spectra also yield Doppler velocities, which measure stellar motions, the internal motions within other galaxies, and galaxy distances based on Hubble’s Law. The meeting focused on the key definitions of the surveys and how the surveys will share the available telescope time at Apache Point over a 6-year span.
Monday, February 18th at 2:00 p.m. in SWR 357
Quantifying Gene Expression and Regulation in Living Cells by Fluorescence Fluctuation Imaging .
Dr. Matthew Ferguson
National Cancer Institute
Mechanisms of transcription and translation take the information encoded in the genome and make it "work" in cells, through the production of proteins defined by nucleic acid coding regions. This involves the coordination of many multi-subunit complexes about which most knowledge is inferred from ensemble and/or in vitro assays, giving a detailed but static picture. How these macromolecular machines coordinate in vivo remains unknown but recent advances in the application of fluctuation analysis to time resolved multi-color imaging can now give an unprecedented level of dynamic in vivo information. My talk will describe recent progress in this area and show examples from the regulation of the central carbon metabolism in bacteria and RNA transcription in humans. By Number and Brightness analysis, we quantify cell- to-cell variations in the expression of fluorescent proteins produced from two bacterial promoters controlling the switch between glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. This reveals strong transcriptional bursting and discriminates between two different molecular mechanisms of transcriptional repression. By two color, in vivo, RNA labeling, we visualize the rise and fall of the intron and exon during transcription of a single gene in human cells. By cross- correlation analysis, we determine the speed of transcription, co- transcriptional splicing and termination of the RNA transcript discerning correlation between elongation, splicing, cleavage and their relation to the chromatin environment.
Matthew L. Ferguson was trained in physics receiving a B.S. in physics and mathematics from Texas Christian University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland, College Park. As a graduate student, he worked in the laboratory of Ralph J. Nossal under the graduate partnership program of the National Institutes of Health. During this time, he utilized light and neutron scattering in novel ways to shed new light on the molecular mechanisms of receptor mediated endocytosis. At the CNRS in Montpellier, France, as an NSF postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Cathrine A. Royer, he implemented fluctuation microscopy to characterize gene expression and regulation in single cells of bacteria. Currently at the National Cancer Institute in the laboratory of Daniel R. Larson, he is pioneering in vivo single molecule studies of transcription and splicing in human cells.
Sponsor: Dr. Miller