U opens state-of-the-art DNA research center

by Beth Hornby

A new, high-tech genetics research lab opened on the St. Paul campus Thursday.

The lab is equipped with the most recent genetics software programs and will allow University researchers to produce three-dimensional, rotating images of DNA.

Researchers can schedule lab time 24 hours a day, seven days a week by contacting the University’s Supercomputing Institute.

University Executive Vice President and Provost Christine Maziar said the lab will bring researchers from different departments together, facilitating collaboration between disciplines.

Ronald Phillips, regents professor of agronomy and plant genomics, said the equipment lets researchers get visual images of data they process.

“It won’t be long before we know the functions of every gene,” he said. “This equipment gives us the ability to speed up our approach.”