Looking Deeper into Life: How a Nobel Prize Winner Advanced Microscopy

By Madison Dougherty, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ‘18

 

Author’s Note:

“I was encouraged to attend and review Nobel Prize winner Eric Betzig’s lectures on campus, and I am extremely glad that I did. As a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, I did not think that I would find microscopy very interesting, but after listening to Betzig talk about his developments in the field, I felt a new sense of appreciation for microscopy, and even for telescopes and space. If you are interested in astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, or all of the above, I highly encourage you to watch and absorb the wealth of information that he has to share with the scientific community. Full video presentations of Betzig’s lectures can be found on the CBS Storer Lectureship website: http://biology.ucdavis.edu/seminars-and-events/storer-endowment/past-lectures/2016-2017.html

 

Continue reading Looking Deeper into Life: How a Nobel Prize Winner Advanced Microscopy

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.”

Continue reading Aggie Transcript Interview—Dr. Walter Leal

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!”

Continue reading Aggie Transcript Interview—Dr. Daniel Starr

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.”

Continue reading A Bee Appreciation (and Awareness) Post

UC Davis Hosts DataRescue Event To Archive Climate Research

By N. J. Griffen, English, ‘17

Author’s Note:

“I chose to write about this topic as a response to one of the many uncertainties that exists under our newly elected president, Donald Trump. More specifically, this article is meant to encompass the nationwide effort by scientists, professors, researchers and archivists to safeguard, backup and protect work conducted in the realm of climate science. This topic, I believe, should be integrally important to most residents of this planet; due to the fact that we have no choice but to live the entirety of our lives here on earth. Therefore, my interview of the archivists at UC Davis seeks to uncover the motives and connotations that the DataRescue Davis event assumes.”

Continue reading UC Davis Hosts DataRescue Event To Archive Climate Research

Epigenetics and Intergenerational Health

By Wren Greaney, History major, Biological Sciences & Community Development minor, ’17

Author’s Note: “I became interested in the impact of epigenetics after reading an article about the effects of environmental pollution on generations beyond the population subjected to the pollution. So much focus in human biology is placed on genetics; it is fascinating that a closely related and significant topic exists that is unique from genetics itself. As epigenetic research progresses, I think it will find a large role in advancing healthcare as well as our understandings about humans’ biological identities.”

Continue reading Epigenetics and Intergenerational Health

Tuberculosis 101

By Connie Chen, Microbiology, ‘16

Author’s Note:

“Many areas of employment, especially within health care, require employees to take a test to see if they have been exposed to tuberculosis (TB). Today, it is believed that one third of the world’s population is infected with some form of TB. However, not many people truly understand what tuberculosis is or what it does. I hope that after reading this, you will have a better understanding of TB.” Continue reading Tuberculosis 101

The Past, Present, and Future of Genetically Modified Organisms

By Rachel Hull

Author’s note

When I began my research for this piece, I was primarily interested in the controversy over the fairly new bill in the United States requiring labels on foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. Little did I know that as I was gathering my sources, a new GMO dispute would emerge, this one revolving around bioengineered non-browning apples. Thus I switched my focus from the bill to the arrival of these apples to stores across the U.S. — an arrival that means an investigation into the history and science behind genetically engineered food products is even timelier than I originally thought.

Continue reading The Past, Present, and Future of Genetically Modified Organisms

Molecular Mechanisms Leading to FXTAS Development and Therapeutic Perspectives

By Candice Vieira, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17

Author’s Note:

After researching Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) treatment methods for a UWP 104F assignment, I learned that current FXTAS therapeutics is limited to symptomatic treatment. Most articles emphasized the need to better characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying FXTAS development to develop drugs specifically for FXTAS. Therefore, I questioned what researchers currently know regarding molecular events that lead to FXTAS signs and symptoms and how this knowledge can aid in drug therapies. This motivated me to prepare a literary review, intended to educate and inform practicing clinicians, especially neurologists and psychologists, about recent findings and the future directions for FXTAS research. For this assignment, we were expected to synthesize recent articles and provide relevant information for clinical practice. Specifically, I wanted clinicians to gain a better understanding of a primary focus within FXTAS research—molecular triggering events—and importantly, how this research relates to clinical treatment of FXTAS.

Continue reading Molecular Mechanisms Leading to FXTAS Development and Therapeutic Perspectives

To Infinity and Beyond: A Review of “The Life of Pi, and Other Infinities” by Natalie Angier

By Lo Tuan, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Managerial Economics, ’17

Author’s Note:

I wrote this review as an assignment for a UWP course that investigates the role of science in society using different lenses and models. It was a scintillating experience engaging in scientific reading and writing while evaluating the relationship between science and society. This paper proved to be a useful exercise for me to communicate scientific information to the general public in a clear and accessible manner.

Continue reading To Infinity and Beyond: A Review of “The Life of Pi, and Other Infinities” by Natalie Angier