Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Taking a Closer Look ; USI Biology Prof Teacher, Researcher

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Taking a Closer Look ; USI Biology Prof Teacher, Researcher

Article excerpt

Landon Moore and his three young sons - Kason, 5, and twins William and Steven, 3 - raised eight caterpillars and watched them transform into Columbia silk moths. The science moment really began the previous summer after the boys caught a Columbia silk moth with the butterfly net.

"I came home and they said, 'look, Daddy, I caught something,'" Moore said. "And, it's this huge Hyalophora Columbia - Columbia silk moth. They're like as big as your hand."

Moore said the Columbia silk moth laid eggs, which allowed the experiment to continue.

Raising the Columbia silk moths was one way that Moore shares science with his children. An assistant professor of biology at University of Southern Indiana, Moore teaches genetics and focuses on cancer research.

There are many changes that take place within a cell that allow cancer to begin, he said.

"Genome instability is a prominent characteristic of cancer," he writes, and so the study of that instability and how it occurs can offer clues about the creation and growth of cancer.

Moore's focus is on cell development - the point at which it changes from generic to specialized cells - and how genes regulate the process. Moore said when he started working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer

Research Center in Seattle, Wa., he was working with a team studying the effect that chromosomes have on development and the stability process. His work has focused on nematodes, or round worms. They make a good subject because the DNA has been sequenced, he wrote.

After working at the research center, Moore and his wife moved to Boston for his research at Boston University's medical school. When his department at BU closed in the mid-2000s, Moore and his family moved to Evansville.

Moore likes doing research at USI because he has more discretion to what he researches.

"We can venture out and do new things that may lead to new avenues of research. Most of science if you actually go through the history, the major scientific breakthroughs.. come from things you did not ever expect, which makes sense," Moore said.

Moore said he and biology professor Rex Strange are continuing the research on cell development and stability using lamprey eels. …

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