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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Latest Philip Benfey Stories

2010-11-11 22:14:02

Tinkering with a single gene may give perennial grasses more robust roots and speed up the timeline for creating biofuels, according to researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP). Perennial grasses, including switchgrass and miscanthus, are important biofuels crops and can be harvested repeatedly, just like lawn grass, said Philip Benfey, director of the IGSP Center for Systems Biology. But before that can happen, the root system needs time to get established....

2010-07-01 15:48:18

It may seem intuitive that growth and development somehow go together so that plants and animals end up with the right number of cells in all the right places. But it is only now that scientists at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy have gotten some of the first insights into how this critical coordination actually works in a plant. The answer is surprisingly simple. A well-known developmental protein called Short-root has been found to directly control the activity, in both...

2010-04-21 13:35:00

DURHAM, N.C. -- Ever since tiny bits of genetic material known as microRNA were first characterized in the early 1990s, scientists have been discovering just how important they are to regulating the activity of genes within cells. A new study now shows that microRNAs don't just control the activity of genes within a given cell, they also can move from one cell to another to send signals that influence gene expression on a broader scale. Researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences...

2009-01-27 07:00:00

ST. LOUIS and DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As farmers look to get more out of each acre of farmland, St. Louis-based Monsanto (NYSE: MON) is exploring unique ways to discover and deliver more desirable traits through the seed. Monsanto's new collaboration with GrassRoots Biotechnology Inc. is expected to do just that by expanding the benefits of Monsanto's research and product portfolio for its farmer customer. Today, Monsanto announced that it has established a...