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

Posted Posted in Book Review

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.

Our Newest Neighbors?

Posted Posted in News

By Nicole Strossman, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘17 Author’s Note: “I decided to write this piece after seeing news headlines announcing the potential of life on planets in a nearby star system. As this is a topic that fascinates many people, myself included, I decided to investigate the new discoveries. While the research on the particular planet mentioned in the various news articles is still fairly new, it has brought about renewed interest in the search for life beyond our planet. This article aims to describe what these recent discoveries are, and show the implications they have for astronomers.”

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.”

Blueberries and Breast Cancer Treatment

Posted Posted in News

By Shivani Kamal, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17 Author’s Note: “I originally became interested in the potential anti-cancer effects of blueberries when I took a nutrition seminar my first year at UC Davis. Curious about further research on its effects on breast cancer, I decided to write an article to educate other students about it. Many of us either have a family member or know someone diagnosed with cancer, so spreading knowledge of current cancer research is an important reminder of support, hope, and determination to individuals and their families.”

“Let’s Take a Deep Breath”: Managing Hypertension by Bridging the Clinic-Home Healthcare Gap

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Health and Medicine: General, Special Report

Independent Project Findings By Harsh Sharma,  Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ’13 Author’s Note: “I wrote this paper to share my independent project takeaways with everyone who is interested in, or a part of, the healthcare field. This project taught me a lot about what we can do to help our patients get the most out of the clinic they go to. As you gain experiences in the medical field, think about the services your organization offers and how you can use your skills to enhance those services to the next level!”

Zika Virus

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: General

By Nicole Strossman, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17 Author’s Note: “I chose to write about this topic in an effort to gain a better understanding of Zika virus. While the topic is frequently in the news, the specifics of the virus are not always discussed in depth. As ongoing research is demonstrating the virus’ possible links to human health disorders, it is important for the general public to be informed about the facts of the virus, in an effort to minimize its spread.”

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

Posted Posted in Book Review, Genetics, Narrative and Personal Writing

By Mor Alkaslasi, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ’16 Author’s Note: “I chose to write a review about this book because I kept finding myself telling my professors and peers about it. As a student in a scientific discipline to which genetics and DNA are crucial, I feel that this book is a notable chronicle of the scientific process and of one of the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century. I hope that this review serves to encourage anyone with an interest in science to read this book, or at least to realize the book’s importance in the scientific community.”

“The Eukaryotic Ribosome”

Posted Posted in Arts

This is a submission from UC Davis CBS Professor Sean Burgess. It comes from a future publication that relates the human quest to visualize the inner workings of the cell, molecular biology, with the quest to visualize the interior of the mind, art. Title: The Eukaryotic Ribosome Caption: The basic mechanism of ribosome­based protein synthesis is conserved among all domains of life. The ribosome comes in two parts. The small subunit  interacts with the mRNA and decodes the interaction with the aminoacyl tRNAs. The large subunit contains the active site of peptidyl transferase. The two subunits together form three pockets for three forms of tRNA. The A site is where the aminoacyl tRNA binds, the P site holds that peptidyl tRNA when the A­site is occupied. The E site contains the deacylated tRNA following peptidyl transferase. The ribosome is a huge conglomeration of RNA and proteins. The RNA appears to do all the heavy lifting for the main catalytic event of protein synthesis.  So what came first, the protein or the ribosome? Obtaining the crystal structure of the ribosome was a tour de force effort. The Nobel Prize for solving its structure was awarded in 2009. Top: Willi Baumeister: Mortaruru with Red Overhead (1953), The Art Book, Phaidon Press Limited, 1994. Bottom: The 60S (PDB: 305H) and 40S (PDB: 1S1H) subunits of the eukaryotic ribosome. Ben­Shem et al. (2010) Science, 330 (6008): 1203­1209. The image was generated by S.M.B. using MacPymol using coordinates from the Protein Databank (http://helixweb.nih.gov/cgi­bin/pdb).  MacPyMOL is product of Schrodinger, LLC. Copyright (C) 2009­2010.

Engineering Hepatitis Virus-like Particles for Oral Vaccine Delivery

Posted Posted in News

By David Ivanov, Biochemistry ’15 Oral vaccines are known to be a convenient and effective method for treatment or prevention of diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms. The difficulty of developing such vaccines is due to the often inhospitable environment of the stomach and intestinal tract because of low pH, or acidity, as well as enzymes that can digest or destroy biological molecules. Using a virus-like particle to deliver the vaccine is an advantageous method for getting around these and other barriers in the host organism. A virus-like particle, or VLP, is a biological particle that resembles a virus, but contains no genetic information and thus cannot infect host cells. VLP’s can be formed by inserting and expressing just the genes for creating the viral capsid, which is a shell made up of protein subunits that protects the infectious genetic information in wild-type, or normal, viruses. The expressed capsid proteins can […]