Esther van der Knaap has been named as one of the Presidential Extraordinary Research Faculty Hiring Initiative builds on UGA’s Signature Themes

Esther van der Knaap, a professor of horticulture in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, is exploring the regulation of fruit shape and size in tomatoes as well as in peppers. Much of her research focuses on the molecular genetic mechanisms of cell division and cell size underlying fruit formation, and her work seeks to help boost the yield and quality of fruit and vegetable crops for the agricultural industry.

Study: Blueprints for limbs encoded in snake genome

When UGA researchers examined the genome of several different snake species, they found something surprising. Embedded in the reptiles’ genetic code was DNA that, in most animals, controls the development and growth of limbs—a strange feature for creatures that are famous for their long, legless bodies and distinctive slither.

Highlighted in the Editors’ Choice section of Science Signaling, our weekly journal from the publisher of Science magazine.

UGA scientists part of team that grew new organ in mouse

A team of scientists that includes University of Georgia genetics professor Nancy Manley have grown an organ for the first time in an animal.

Their success in inducing a mouse to grow a new thymus raises the possibility that scientists might be able to grow the organ in humans whose thymus is absent or impaired, or that their discovery might one day be used to grow important disease-fighting cells called T-cells outside the body.

Scientists grow fully functional organ from transplanted cells

The researchers created a thymus, a butterfly-shaped gland and vital component of the human immune system. Located beneath the breastbone in the upper chest, the thymus is responsible for producing T-lymphocytes, or T-cells, which help organize and lead the body’s fighting forces against threats like bacteria, viruses and even cancerous cells.

“We were all surprised by how well this works,” said Nancy Manley, professor of genetics in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and co-author of the paper describing their finding in Nature Cell Biology.

Growing human organs – coming soon?

A team of scientists including researchers from the University of Georgia has grown a fully functional organ from scratch in a living animal for the first time. The advance could one day aid in the development of laboratory-grown replacement organs.

Franklin College researchers discover origin of unusual glands in the body

The thymus gland is a critical component of the human immune system. It is responsible for the development of T-lymphocytes, or T-cells, which help organize and lead the body’s fighting forces against harmful organisms like bacteria and viruses. Nancy Manley, a professor of genetics in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator for the project.