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In Review

BIOLOGYSummer Sequences
fireflies (Photo: J. Adam Fenster)

FLASH LIGHTS: A group from the biology department traveled to the Allegheny National Forest in northwest Pennsylvania this summer to view and collect fireflies as part of a project to study the insect’s genomics. The group observed several species, including Father Mac’s firefly (Photinus macdermotti), the Big Dipper firefly (Photinus pyralis), and the Chinese Lantern firefly (Photuris versicolor-complex)—all shown here in a composite image. Amanda Larracuente, an assistant professor of biology and the Stephen Biggar ’92 and Elisabeth Asaro ’92 Fellow in Data Science, is working to sequence the genome of the Big Dipper firefly, including studying the genes involved in the chemical reaction that produces the characteristic flashes of light that the insects use to communicate.