By Reshma Kolala, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ‘22 Residing in the pancreas are clusters of specialized cells, namely alpha, beta (), and delta cells. cells, more specifically, are insulin-secreting cells that are instrumental in the body’s glucose regulation mechanism. An elevation of the extracellular glucose concentrations allows glucose to enter cells via GLUT2 transporters, where it is subsequently metabolized. The resultant increase in ATP catalyzes the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, triggering the depolarization of the plasma membrane which in turn stimulates insulin release by cells (1). In individuals with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), however, pancreatic islet beta cells are damaged by pro-inflammatory cytokines that are released by the body’s own immune cells. The loss of functional beta cell mass induces […]
By Kaiming Tan Author’s Note: This report analyzes and explains the biological, chemical, and environmental importance of heptachlor. More and more in today’s society, we are utilizing synthetic compounds as agricultural insecticides, which makes understanding what these chemicals do to our bodies and the environment of utmost importance. Farming strategies may seem far-removed from our daily lives, but these chemicals do not stay on the farm. They travel to our cities, to our grocery stores and markets, then make their way onto our dinner plates and into our children’s stomachs. I am constantly amazed at the power of scientific research to transform and demystify the detrimental nature of environmental and biological toxicants; this, combined with my passion in toxicology, has inspired me […]
By Karissa Cruz, B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Spring ‘19 Author’s Note: I wrote this piece as part of my UWP 104F assignments and ended up becoming really interested in what I wrote about. I specifically chose this topic because I think breast cancer is a smart, complex disease, and the treatment can change day-to-day. I wanted to shed light on a widely accepted breast cancer treatment that is now under review after discovering that it can cause cardiac dysfunction.
By Taylor Riedley, Biology, ‘20 Author’s Note: I wrote this paper for my UWP 102B class with Dr. Brenda Rinard in Winter Quarter 2019. For the preliminary stage of an assignment, I reviewed primary research on metal phosphide poisoning and wrote a formal paper geared towards a medical audience. For the final stage, I translated my formal paper into this one, intending it for a curious though not necessarily scientific audience. I chose this topic because I am considering an occupation in forensic pathology, and while I searched for articles about pathological findings, I came across an autopsy of a victim of metal phosphide poisoning. I was struck by the discrepancy between the general outward symptoms and the lethal organ […]
By Jeffrey Nguyen, Animal Biology, ‘19 Author’s Note: I originally wrote this piece for UWP 104E: Writing in the Sciences. The assignment called for an explanation of any scientific topic to the general public and I thought to write on a topic that would be both useful and relatable to pet owners. Skin allergies affect dogs of all breeds and can bear severe consequences if left untreated. I hope that this paper increases awareness on animal health and convinces pet owners to consider taking a second glance in those moments they observe something out of the ordinary.
By Mari Hoffman Authors note: UC Davis does an immense amount of waste reduction and energy conservation practices, but after writing this essay in my Water Quality at Risk class I wondered if it is enough. In 2018, UC Davis did not make it on the “Cool Schools” list by Sierra Club Magazine. The previous year we were ranked as number 32. I was assigned this essay to compare some of the practices that UC Davis does with other schools to get an understanding on what we are excelling at and where we can improve. I chose to focus on how we can improve in regards to water waste with an implementation of porous concrete.
By Roxanna Pignolet, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, ‘20 Author’s note: This literature review was originally written as an assignment for my 102B Writing in the Disciplines: Biological Sciences class. At the start of this quarter I was lucky enough to get involved in plant metabolic engineering research in Dr. Patrick Shih’s laboratory, which exposed me to the field of synthetic biology for the first time. I immediately became fascinated with the whole process of engineering plants to produce medically relevant compounds. Through this review I hope to inform others of these surprising and highly relevant applications of plant genetic engineering.
By Reshma Kolala, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ‘22 Author’s Note: While browsing recent findings in Neuroscience, I came across research investigating the possible conversion of glia to neurons. Although the conventional idea that neurons are irreplaceable has been overturned in multiple research studies, I was immediately intrigued by the possibility for neighboring glia to be the source of neural regeneration. The implications of this research could completely transform how treatment is approached in the neuroscience field of medicine.
By Timur Katsnelson, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘19 Author’s Note: Like everyone else, I love music- especially the works of my favorite artists. There is nothing better than listening or jamming out to your favorite song. The human love for music is a powerful binding force, but why do we even like it? What are the underlying physiological responses of our enjoyment? I wanted to explore the functions of our brain as they relate to enjoying music, and found some interesting results about what scientists have uncovered thus far. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the human brain is the ability to interpret and feel emotions regarding complex environmental stimuli such as visual arts and music. Even more […]
By Anna Kirillova, Genetics & Genomics ’19 Author’s note: I wrote this case study for my writing in health sciences class since allergies are a growing epidemic in the developed world. Due to the prevalence of this chronic chronic condition, food contamination is health concern for those prone to acute allergic reactions. However, little is known about the etiology of immune system dysfunction and many patients are unable to receive a concrete diagnosis. I chose to interview my friend to get a glimpse into what it’s like to manage this chronic condition and to learn more about the potential causes and treatments.