Fat to the rescue?

Posted Posted in Biology, Health and Medicine: General

By Sabrina Lazar, Cell Biology  ‘20 Author’s note: After attending an interesting meeting on cytoskeleton dynamics in the weekly Joint Seminars in Molecular Biology series, I wanted to learn more about the subject and found Anna Franz and her colleagues’ recent paper about fat cells in Drosophila, a model organism I work with and is dear to me. This essay serves as a way for me to share fascinating research with those that are interested in Drosophila, cells, or biology in general.

A Review of Personalized Cystic Fibrosis Treatments: Genotype-Phenotype Relationships

Posted Posted in Genetics, Health and Medicine: Literature Reviews

By Daniel Erenstein, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘20 Author’s Note: One of the major assignments in my Writing in Science (UWP 104E) course was a literature review on some current topic of scientific interest. The process involved in understanding prior research on a topic and in predicting a field’s future directions was challenging. Along the way, I often found myself lost in a world of complicated scientific jargon. In the end, it was a personal story that provided the inspiration I needed for this article. Worldwide, more than 70,000 people have cystic fibrosis, and there are over 30,000 patients in the United States alone. Mary Frey is one of them, and she chronicles her life alongside Peter, her husband, and […]

Solving the Organ Shortage

Posted Posted in Genetics, Health and Medicine: General

By Sofie Bates Author’s Note: At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting this year, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Pablo Ross from UC Davis present in a panel discussion on gene editing to create xenogeneic organs. I wrote this article to highlight interesting research that is being done by researchers around the country and right here at UC Davis. I hope that this article will explain xenogeneic organ production—a revolutionary development in the future of medicine—and push readers to think about related bioethical issues and future directions.

Odontoblasts’ Secondary Mechano-sensory Role

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: General

By Michael Mears, Biological Sciences, ‘17 Author’s Note: I am interested in studying dentistry in future graduate studies, and have always wanted to learn more about the topics it has to offer. After taking a class focusing on neurons, it made me curious as to how the sensory abilities of teeth play out. I was surprised to read online a specific type of cell is involved with tooth sensitivity, and delved into research articles from there. I also wanted to highlight the future implications these studies help shed light on, such that future research will help clarify our understanding on topics like this.

Monocarboxylate Transporter 1’s Facilitation of Cancer Cell Activity

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: General

By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s note I originally wrote this paper for my Biological Systems class, the instructor of which was interested in researching the physiological role of monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1). He instructed his students to write an essay exploring this role in any way they wanted, and I chose to focus on the link between MCT1 and cancer. I enjoyed sifting through multiple strands of evidence for the reasons behind this link — strands that oftentimes were not in agreement with one another.

Organization and Localization of Septins Changes After Autophagy Induction in Yeast

Posted Posted in News, Undergraduate Research

by Bukre Coskun, Cell Biology ‘18 Authors Note: I wrote this mini journal article for my MCB 140L class. The class focused on the role and structure of septins, a group of proteins that are associated with several biological pathways, like autophagy. I chose to write about a set of experiments we did using yeast-two hybrid assays and fluorescence microscopy to understand the organization and interactions of septins.  

Understanding the Tumultuous Trajectory of a Concept in The Gene

Posted Posted in Book Review, Genetics

By Daniel Erenstein, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘19 Author’s Note: In my Writing in Science (UWP 104E) course, Dr. Brenda Rinard assigned us a review of a classic book in science. My interests in social history and the genetics of disease inspired me to read Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene: An Intimate History. The following book review of The Gene is intended for undergraduate biology majors at UC Davis and beyond. I wrote this review to persuade my peers of the book’s instructional and thought-provoking value. My hope, too, is that readers of this review are encouraged by the pursuit of knowledge presented in The Gene’s stories to transform their passion for science into future innovations.

A Conversation with Dr. Kate Scow: “I just totally lost my heart to soil”

Posted Posted in Biology, Environment, Special Report

By Sara Ludwick, Environmental Science and Management, 2019 Author’s note: I read about Dr. Scow’s research while looking for a faculty member to interview for a class assignment. She is a professor of Soil Science and Microbial Ecology at UC Davis, and her research emphasizes microorganisms’ roles in providing ecosystems services. Dr. Scow was featured in an article on a UC Davis website about carbon sequestration as a tactic to address climate change, and from there I discovered Russell Ranch, where she serves as Director (1). I immediately became interested in the variety of experiments conducted on the experimental farm, and began to learn more about Dr. Scow’s work. Her work is extensive; in addition to directing Russell Ranch, she […]

Shouldering the Pain

Posted Posted in Case Report

By: Cathy Guo, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘18   Author’s Note: “This is a reflective case study I wrote for UWP104F (Writing in the Health Profession) about a patient’s illness experience with chronic pain. After conducting an interview with the patient, I became intrigued by the controversial aspects of her ailment, and drew on research to better understand the scientific context of chronic pain. I hope that my reflection at the end raises questions that readers are also thinking, and that these questions could spur readers to learn more about the subject.”

The Effect of Aging On Our Immune System: A Review

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine: Literature Reviews

by Bukre Coskun, Cell Biology ‘18 Author’s Note: I became interested in the immune system and the role of the thymus after taking an immunology class where I learned about how T-cells are distributed throughout our body. I wanted to explore this subject more after learning that the thymus, an organ that is integral to the production of T-cells, atrophies after puberty and eventually becomes inactive.  Here, I review a publication that describes how the concentration of T-cells in our body changes as we age.