Category Archives: Biology

The multi-functional protein kinases: ATM and ATR

By Carly Cheung, Microbiology, ‘17

Author’s Note:

“The goal of this paper is to portray the multifunctionality of proteins involved in the cell and how interconnected one process is to another, even though two processes appear to be unrelated. I am fascinated by the system of signal transduction in our cells and admire how elaborate and complicated the network is. This is best shown by examining the two proteins, ATM and ATR, that are known for their functions in cell cycle regulation and DNA break repair. The paper explores the changes in their transduction pathways seen in mammals with cancer, metabolic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.”

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Aggie Transcript Interview—Dr. Walter Leal

By Bukre Coskun, Cell Biology, ‘18

Author’s Note:

“As a student in Professor Walter Leal’s biochemistry class, I was inspired by his dedication to motivating students and obvious enthusiasm for his field of research. Professor Walter Leal has achieved international recognition for his research on the molecular basis of insect communication and insect olfaction. Leal, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, has made significant strides towards understanding how chemicals deter mosquitos. He has identified key mosquito receptors that can guide the development of better mosquito repellents to prevent the spread of deadly diseases. He is a past president of the International Society of Chemical Ecology, an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the first non-Japanese scientist to earn tenure in the Japan Ministry of Agriculture. I had a conversation with Professor Leal about his path to research, his philosophy on teaching, and the significance of his work with insects.”

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Aggie Transcript Interview—Dr. Daniel Starr

By Lauren Uchiyama, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17

Author’s Note:

“I chose to write this piece because I felt Dr. Dan Starr is unique in that he is equally passionate about  teaching and research.  As an undergraduate in his BIS 104 cell biology class, I feel he highlights research well by teaching us from an experimental and historical perspective, which makes learning even more fun and interesting.  His reputation as a difficult, yet acclaimed educator has made him one of the most prominent biology professors at UC Davis.  I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I did!”

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A Bee Appreciation (and Awareness) Post

By Chantele Karim, Biological Sciences, ’17

Author’s note:

“Over the past few years, I have noticed an increase in media attention directed toward bees. Although the presence of issues regarding bees in the United States was rather clear to me, their magnanimity remained largely obscure. Recently, I came across an article in The Economist on the invention of an artificial pollinator. I began to better understand the far-reaching extent of the global pollination crisis caused by suffering bee populations and felt compelled to research the topic further. This article seeks to briefly detail current issues regarding the decline of domestic and wild bees, as well as the approaches being undertaken in response.”

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A Glimpse into Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques

By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’19

Author’s Note

I decided to write this piece after stumbling across several news articles in October of this year heralding the birth of the first ever ‘three-parent baby’ and thinking to myself that something seemed to be missing in these stories. What started as some casual digging into the history of three-parent babies soon turned into a more general investigation of assisted reproductive technologies. The information I found was not only interesting but also very pertinent, as new advances could increase the role these technologies play in our society.

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