A Bee Appreciation (and Awareness) Post

Posted Posted in Biology, Environment

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.”

UC Davis Hosts DataRescue Event To Archive Climate Research

Posted Posted in Environment, Special Report

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.”

Life Science According to Trump: An Examination of Claims and Facts

Posted Posted in Environment

By Wren Greaney, History major, Biological Sciences & Community Development minor, ’17 Author’s Note: “I decided to write this article on the Wednesday after the presidential election. After the long whirlwind of campaigning, it seemed that many unanswered questions lingered. Health is one of the most immediate concerns for many people, and when accurate information about health exists, I think it should be provided so that individuals can make informed decisions. This article is an attempt to address a small fraction of the health concerns that were raised during the course of the presidential campaign.”

The Infant Airway Microbiome Linked to Childhood Asthma

Posted Posted in Environment, Genetics, Health and Medicine: General, News

By Shivani Kamal, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17 Author’s Note: “I am pursing a career in pediatrics and wanted to familiarize myself with new research regarding health and development of children. I was amazed at the advancements of medical technology which allow us to understand diseases and create potential cures, previously never thought possible. My purpose for writing this review is to show scientific audiences the most current research on how bacteria in the respiratory microbiome has an impact on asthma. Recently, much research initiated by the Human Microbiome Projects (HMP) proved that the bacteria living on and inside humans contribute to the health and disease of the body. This review is meant to educate scientists on the most recent information on development of childhood asthma and prompt others to conduct future research on preventative treatments for the disease.”

Abundance Estimates And Vegetation Preferences Of The Suisun Song Sparrow In The Interior And Along Edges Of Impounded Wetlands

Posted Posted in Environment, Undergraduate Research

By Debi Fanucchi, Oscar Garzon, Julia F. Herring, and Kevin M. Ringelman ABSTRACT The Suisun Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia maxillaris) is a subspecies of Song Sparrow that is endemic to the Suisun Marsh of California. It is listed as a state species of special concern by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife due to its restricted range, small breeding population, and susceptibility to encroaching human development. The Suisun Marsh ecosystem is highly altered, and is comprised of both natural tidal wetlands and impounded wetlands that are cut off from the natural tidal cycle. Suisun Song Sparrows are believed to prefer natural tidal wetlands, but there is a lack of information on sparrow densities and habitat associations in impounded wetlands. To address this knowledge gap, we examined the abundance and habitat preferences of Suisun Song Sparrows in an impounded and heavily managed wetland complex.  We conducted surveys at seven sites […]

Vector and Disease Management Research to Reduce the Effects of Pierce’s Disease in California’s Vineyards

Posted Posted in Environment, News

By Natalie Swinhoe, Anthropology and Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity, 2015 Pierce’s Disease in grapevines is a major threat to California’s viticultural economy. Caused by the bacterial strain Xylella fastidiosa, the disease blocks water transfer in the xylem of stems, leading to water stress and eventual death. Until the 1990s, the only carriers for the disease were native Blue-Green Sharpshooters, Graphocephala atropunctata. However, between 1994 and 2000, a devastating outbreak occurred in Southern California, destroying more than 1000 acres of vineyards (Ringenberg et al., 2014). This epidemic was caused by a new nonnative vector- the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Tumber et al, 2013). Compared to the Blue-Green Sharpshooter, the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter has a much greater capacity to spread Pierce’s Disease because it can fly further and feed on a larger variety of plant parts (Alston et al., 2013, Baccari and Lindow, 2010).

Learning from Drought in California: Past and Present

Posted Posted in Environment, News

By Marisa Sanchez, Molecular and Cellular Biology, ’15 The most current drought in California is considered to be one of the worst droughts in the past century, and many wonder if this severity is due to climate change. However, California has had a long history of unpredictable weather fluctuations, and is familiar with severe droughts. Many droughts can have devastating effects, particularly in the agricultural industry and the hydropower industry. Most Californians have also experienced the effects of a drought first-hand, such as having enforced water rationing. Even though, California’s history has shown that most droughts have devastating effects, droughts can also great learning experiences.

Viruses and the Global Metabolic Pathway

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Oyang Teng, Biological Sciences ’14 Microbes are the planetary engineers of the biogeochemical cycles that sustain all life on earth. At the molecular scale, the biological turnover of such key elements as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, iron and sulfur depends on the enzymatic transfer of electrons from reduced (electron-donating) to oxidized (electron-accepting) forms of these elements. On the global scale and over geological time, reduced substrates and oxidized products map to a vast, often circuitous flux between the interior depths of the mantle and the oceans, land, and atmosphere.