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Bethel College science lecture to focus on plant proteins

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Bruce J. Heyen will lecture on "Cells, Celery and Calcium: Proteins Involved in Plant Stress Management" at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 20 in room 121, Krehbiel Science Center at Bethel College. His talk on the North Newton campus will focus on the techniques of isolating a specific protein from plant tissue and the results of calcium-binding experiments. The lecture is free and open to the public. "Calcium regulates many cellular processes," Heyen says, "and it is important to understand how it interacts with different proteins in nature." In plants, he explains, calcium may enable a cell to adapt to cold stress.

Heyen is professor of chemistry at Tabor College, Hillsboro. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Abilene Christian University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University. He has taught at Tabor for six years.

During the summer and fall of 2000, he spent a sabbatical doing research at Indiana University, Purdue University in Indianapolis where he studied calcium-binding proteins found in celery.

"The isolation and characterization of proteins that are involved in cold stress is fascinating," says Gary Histand, associate professor of chemistry at Bethel College. "Learning more about these proteins may one day help us to expand the growing zones for various plants."

The Heyen lecture is sponsored by the Bethel College Science Lectureship Endowment and is part of the college’s Natural Sciences Seminar series.

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