Polylactic Acid as a Biodegradable Composite: A Review

Posted Posted in Environment

By Madison Dougherty, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘18 Author’s Note: I wrote this paper for my UWP 104E class. I have always been interested in sustainability, and this paper provided me with an excellent outlet for researching methods related to environmentally friendly packaging options. In recent years, I have become increasingly aware of the harshness of plastics and other synthetic polymers on the planet. This paper serves to educate others about ways to improve the overall sustainability of the plastic industry.

Skin-dwelling Staphylococcus epidermidis Defends Against Tumor Growth

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: General

By Cathy Guo, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘18   Author’s Note: After taking Introduction to Microbiology (MIC 102), I became interested in microbes, living organisms that surround us but are largely invisible to the naked eye. One area of research that particularly fascinates me involves the use of microbes that naturally inhabit the human body to treat infections and diseases. I wanted to share the findings of a research study focused on one such microbe, Staphylococcus epidermidis, because of the significant implications and potential for further development demonstrated by the research findings.

Could a DNA Sample Reconstruct a Face?

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Anna Kirillova, Cell Biology, ’19 Author’s Note: I came across facial genetics in one of my classes and immediately decided to write a review about it. To my surprise, the field was not as developed as I’ve expected it to be, but with the rise of facial recognition technologies, this area of research will be growing in the near future. In this review, I explained basic concepts and recent advancements in the field of human facial genetics.

Addressing Eutrophication: Algae as Wastewater Treatment and Potential Biofuel Source

Posted Posted in Environment

By Sara Ludwick, Environmental Science & Management, ’19 Author’s note: In my Global Environmental Interactions class, we learned a lot about nitrogen and phosphorous as essential elements, but also as sources of eutrophication which threatens life in the ocean by disrupting food chains and causing anoxia. I decided to write a paper about the potential for microalgae to be cultivated as a way to remove those nutrient inputs from the water before it reaches the ocean, changing their role from the source of eutrophication to a possible solution.

Solving the Organ Shortage

Posted Posted in Genetics, Health and Medicine: General

By Sofie Bates Author’s Note: At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting this year, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Pablo Ross from UC Davis present in a panel discussion on gene editing to create xenogeneic organs. I wrote this article to highlight interesting research that is being done by researchers around the country and right here at UC Davis. I hope that this article will explain xenogeneic organ production—a revolutionary development in the future of medicine—and push readers to think about related bioethical issues and future directions.

Odontoblasts’ Secondary Mechano-sensory Role

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: General

By Michael Mears, Biological Sciences, ‘17 Author’s Note: I am interested in studying dentistry in future graduate studies, and have always wanted to learn more about the topics it has to offer. After taking a class focusing on neurons, it made me curious as to how the sensory abilities of teeth play out. I was surprised to read online a specific type of cell is involved with tooth sensitivity, and delved into research articles from there. I also wanted to highlight the future implications these studies help shed light on, such that future research will help clarify our understanding on topics like this.

Monocarboxylate Transporter 1’s Facilitation of Cancer Cell Activity

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: General

By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s note I originally wrote this paper for my Biological Systems class, the instructor of which was interested in researching the physiological role of monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1). He instructed his students to write an essay exploring this role in any way they wanted, and I chose to focus on the link between MCT1 and cancer. I enjoyed sifting through multiple strands of evidence for the reasons behind this link — strands that oftentimes were not in agreement with one another.

Organization and Localization of Septins Changes After Autophagy Induction in Yeast

Posted Posted in News, Undergraduate Research

by Bukre Coskun, Cell Biology ‘18 Authors Note: I wrote this mini journal article for my MCB 140L class. The class focused on the role and structure of septins, a group of proteins that are associated with several biological pathways, like autophagy. I chose to write about a set of experiments we did using yeast-two hybrid assays and fluorescence microscopy to understand the organization and interactions of septins.   Read More

Understanding the Tumultuous Trajectory of a Concept in The Gene

Posted Posted in Book Review, Genetics

By Daniel Erenstein, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘19 Author’s Note: In my Writing in Science (UWP 104E) course, Dr. Brenda Rinard assigned us a review of a classic book in science. My interests in social history and the genetics of disease inspired me to read Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene: An Intimate History. The following book review of The Gene is intended for undergraduate biology majors at UC Davis and beyond. I wrote this review to persuade my peers of the book’s instructional and thought-provoking value. My hope, too, is that readers of this review are encouraged by the pursuit of knowledge presented in The Gene’s stories to transform their passion for science into future innovations.

A Conversation with Dr. Kate Scow: “I just totally lost my heart to soil”

Posted Posted in Biology, Environment, Special Report

By Sara Ludwick, Environmental Science and Management, 2019 Author’s note: I read about Dr. Scow’s research while looking for a faculty member to interview for a class assignment. She is a professor of Soil Science and Microbial Ecology at UC Davis, and her research emphasizes microorganisms’ roles in providing ecosystems services. Dr. Scow was featured in an article on a UC Davis website about carbon sequestration as a tactic to address climate change, and from there I discovered Russell Ranch, where she serves as Director (1). I immediately became interested in the variety of experiments conducted on the experimental farm, and began to learn more about Dr. Scow’s work. Her work is extensive; in addition to directing Russell Ranch, she […]