The Current | Vol. 31 Issue 14

February 17, 201 5 | News Novembe 10, 202 | n suc rrent.nova.e 2 3301 College Avenue Don Taft University Center, PVA Room 328 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796 NEWSROOM Phone: 954-262-8455 The Current serves Nova Southeastern University from its location in Room 328 of the Don Taft University Center. The Current is NSU’s established vehicle for student reporting, opinion and the arts. All community members are invited to contribute. Editorials, commentaries and advertisements in this publication reflect the opin- ions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University or its officials, The Current staff or other advertisers. The Current will not publish unsigned letters except under special circumstances at the dis- cretion of the Editor-in-Chief. The Current reserves the right to edit. Contributing writers must not be directly involved with their coverage. Coverage by contributing writers must be meaningful and of interest to the NSU community. The Current reserves the right to edit, publish or deny submitted works as it sees fit. The Current shall remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility or otherwise cre- ate a bias, real or perceived. Megan Fitzgerald Rey Perez Daniella Rudolph Nyla Wyte Chole Rousseau Briana Ramnauth Ana Maria Soto Blake Malick Gabriel J. Stone Isabella Gomez Aliyah Gomez Veronica Richard Gaby Holmes Erin Cowan Faculty Advisor Jarrod Bailey Staff Advisor Sofia Gallus Siena Berardi Madelyn Rinka Alexander Martinie Rick Esner Christina McLaughlin Flor Ana Mireles Farhan Shaban Sports Editor Features Editor Arts & Entertainment Editor Co-Editor-in-Chief Co-Editor-in-Chief Opinions Editor News Editor Copy Editor Chief of Visual Design Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Visual Design Assistant Emma Heineman BUSINESS & ADVERTISING Phone: 954-262-8461 News Briefs Get the scoop on events happening on and off campus campus. Education on diversity With registration open for the winter semester, the Halmos College is offering classes to educate students on diversity, a core value of NSU. Students can find the complete list here. All students can sign up for any of these classes. From education on LGBTQ+ to anthropology, and even a dance class, learning about what makes us diverse is easier than ever. These classes can be used to fill an elective spot or humanity credit for some students. The Garden The Garden exhibit is still open until Nov. 13. The exhibit is available for virtual tours, and for more information on tours, email The primary artist of the gallery is Amanda Madrigal from the New World School of the Arts who uses repurposed materials found in Miami thrift stores to create artworks. The Garden is located in the University Center PVA wing in Gallery 217 and is free to the public thanks to the department of Communication, Media and the Arts. NSU DECAWorkshop On Nov. 19 from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in Desantis 1048, NSU DECA Career Development is hosting a student-led workshop to help teach how to handle making hard choices. All NSU students are welcome to attend and students who are interested should RSVP on the DECA SharkHub page or here. Trivia Night Every Thursday at 6 p.m., trivia is hosted in the RecPlex basketball courts located on the second floor of the University Center. These events are open to all NSU students. To sign up for trivia night, sign in or create an account on, choose a sport with open registration and sign up your team. Upon entry, each team will have their temperature taken and masks are mandatory. 2020 Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Not going home this year for Thanksgiving? On Nov. 26 from 12:30 - 3 p.m. in the University Center dining hall, Thanksgiving foods, like turkey and mashed potatoes, will be served. This event is open to all residential and commuter students as well as any staff on campus. NSU leads research hub in symbiotic genome project This year, a NSU research team was invited to serve as one of four collaboration hubs involved in the Aquatic Symbiosis Genomics Project, funded jointly by The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England. This collaboration hub, led by Jose V. Lopez, a professor in the department of biological sciences and current president of the non-profit Global Invertebrate Genome Alliance (GIGA), will focus on sequencing and studying the genome of 50 unique species of invertebrates with a “photosymbiotic” relationship. Some examples of aquatic photosymbiotic species are the giant clam, upside jellyfish, zooxanthellae, pyrosome and sea slugs. According to Nina Pruzinksy, a research assistant to Lopez working on the project, the team is looking at how organisms have established symbiosis with light-harvesting algae and other microbes that have the ability to photosynthesize. Essentially, the team will be studying the two organisms living and functioning together either in a singular or mutually beneficial partnership — as host and symbiont — and trying to understand the relationship on a deeper level. “I like to understand how different organisms relate to each other, genetically and evolutionarily. One way to do this is by reading their gene sequences or their DNA code. This is the fundamental blueprint of life. With these photosymbionts, we are looking at how the symbiont and the host retain the relationship and seeing if that is genetically controlled. We want to see if the host interacts with the symbiont at the genetic level and vice versa,” said Lopez. According to Lopez, genomes are still considered to many scientists as “big black boxes” because of the unknown knowledge they can retain. Having access to information about how these organisms are organized, and how they express proteins for instance, could help form a better understanding of how genomes work and evolve. These non-model organisms may be understudied, but can add fundamental knowledge to fill gaps in the evolutionary tree. “It seems to me that these invertebrates are poorly understood. They are not something that has been targeted [for research] in the past, but now, it seems to be a timely and important project. As biodiversity is decreasing, these organisms and these types of studies can help us understand and conserve biodiversity,” said Pruzinsky. Along with the project’s efforts to research what is unknown about symbiotic relationships and the knowledge they can provide, the project also doubles as a conservation effort. Lopez explained that since climate change is a global problem, the habitats of these invertebrates are considered to be endangered and threatened. Although they are studying these 50 specific symbiotic pairs, there could potentially be three to five times more species that haven’t been identified yet. These invertebrates can be lost before their presence is aware of, which points out the urgency of this and similar projects. “It’s a really important project in terms of conservation and biodiversity genomics. I’m honored to work with Dr. Lopez on this project. It’s important in the genomics realm to be involved in projects like these. It’s good to have this photosymbiosis hub at NSU. It’s really beneficial to recognize NSU as a key player in the genomics world,” said Pruzinsky. For students interested in learning more about this project, they can visit the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s website or explore the GIGAwebsite to learn more. By: Christina McLaughlin Co-Editor-in-Chief