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ASU scientists' work goes cover to cover

November 21, 2006

In two weeks' time, research conducted by ASU scientists graced the covers of two science journals. The two covers – one of Science News and the other of Genome Research – hit the newsstands in October and early November.

Robert Page, director of ASU's School of Life Sciences, is one of 15 authors of the article, “Exceptionally high levels of recombination across the honeybee genome,” which was featured on the cover of the November issue of Genome Research magazine. The article discusses the unusually high level of gene recombination that the researchers found in the honeybee genome after they completed sequencing it.

The researchers found that the honeybee genome has 10 times higher levels of recombination than other previously analyzed genomes. The exceptionally high recombination rate is distributed genome wide and varies by two orders of magnitude.

Page also was a co-author on a paper that appeared in Nature on October 26 that also discussed the honeybee genome. That article, in which ASU's Gro Amdam was also a co-author, discussed a genetic connection to honeybee social behavior.

In “Enigmatic eruption,” Ron Cowen of Science News describes astronomers' best efforts to understand the star V838 Monocerotis, an erupting star near the outskirts of the Milky Way. The story details the star and its extraordinarily strange behavior of a triple outburst in the period of January to March 2002.

ASU's Sumner Starrfield, a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, is quoted in the story and his research is detailed as he tries to explain the odd behavior of V838 Monocerotis.

This erupting star “does not resemble any nova that has been studied,” Starrfield says.

Starrfield obtained time on the Hubble Space Telescope to take some images of V838 Monocerotis. The results are images considered to be the most stunning ever recorded by the Hubble. The pictures, as well as a new one recorded in September, eventually could shed light on the true nature of these stellar outbursts.