How Are California Bears Doing?

Posted Posted in Book Review

Shortly before 6 a.m. on June 4, 2019, a very rare occurrence captured the attention of the entire Aggie community. A young, male black bear was spotted wandering near the UC Davis Arboretum’s Redwood Grove [4]. The campus police and fire departments, in conjunction with California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), worked to tranquilize the straggler and release him to the nearest habitat west of the city of Davis. This moment of excitement on campus sparked the curiosity of many who care about wildlife and conservation. According to CDFW, black bear populations have been on the rise over…

Genetically Engineered Crops: A Food Security Solution?

Posted Posted in Book Review, Environment

By Roxanna Pignolet, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 20’ Author’s Note: Since I started working on plant metabolites as an undergraduate researcher in the Shih Lab, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the power of plant genetic engineering to address a wide variety of problems. A uniquely global and increasingly relevant concern is how to continue to feed the world’s growing population in the face of climate change. I decided to write this paper to provide a snapshot of the current research being done to innovate crop species that will survive in the face of climate change. As part of this review. I also wanted to address ongoing concerns about the safety and impact of GMOs on consumers and the environment, […]

Merging Amputees with their Prostheses

Posted Posted in News

By Brooke B., Computer Science/Design ’22 Author’s Note: As a computer science major, I have always been interested in the concept of an algorithm that can communicate with the brain through manufactured nerve signals. I read about this research in the news and I thought it was a great example of the marriage of biology and computer science, as well as how the two together can improve lives. I wrote this news article in hopes to reach more of the general public to shed light on the strides we’re making in prosthetic technology. New research was published early October 2019 in Science Translational Medicine with the first prosthesis augmented by sensory feedback for above-the-knee amputees.¹ The findings have helped amputees […]

Novel Pathway Elucidates Potential for Nitric-Oxide Produced by Tumor-Associated Macrophages to Confer Resistance to Chemotherapy Drug Cisplatin

Posted Posted in Biochemistry, Biology

By Reshma Kolala, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ‘22 Authors Note: This past summer I was given the incredible opportunity to work in the Thurmond Lab at the City of Hope where I investigated a point mutant of the Syntaxin 4 protein on -cell function and apoptosis. The following piece reviews a publication that was fundamental to both the understanding and methodology of my project.    Introduction Cisplatin (CDDP) is a widely used chemotherapy drug that induces apoptosis in solid tumor cells, which are cells that lack cysts or liquid areas such as carcinomas, sarcomas, and lymphomas. The platinum-based chemotherapeutic agent was popularized in the late 1970s as the antitumoral toxicity of platinum compounds became known for their clinical efficacy against solid […]

How Expectations Shape Perception

Posted Posted in Biology, Neurobiology

By Neha Madugala, Cognitive Science, ‘21 Author’s Note: Previous studies in neuroscience have suggested that our expectations and prior experiences impact how we perceive reality and current tasks. This idea is embedded in Bayesian integration, also referred to as multisensory integration, which essentially studies how the brain combines information obtained from sensory neurons to affect perception and create a distinct outlook on an organism’s surroundings. It defines how we view and think about our environment.  This topic was particularly interesting to me because expectations can serve to aid our further understanding of incoming information, but can also inhibit our understanding if the new information contradicts our predictions.   Scientists classify expectations as essentially creating a placebo effect. The idea is that […]

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF): PHMG-P and Other Disinfectant-associated Chemicals as Potential Causes, the Mechanism, and Potential Treatments

Posted Posted in Book Review, Health and Medicine

By Téa Schepper, Biological Sciences ‘19 Author’s Note I would like to give special thanks to Professor Katherine Gossett (UC Davis) for encouraging me to write this paper and Dr. Angela Haczku (UC Davis Health) for her expertise in pulmonary diseases. Last fall, I decided to research idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis after my grandfather was hospitalized and diagnosed with it over the previous summer. I quickly discovered that there wasn’t much research on the disease itself or how to treat it due to its rarity. The purpose of this literature review is to inform others about idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and to encourage further research on the subject. With time, this research could be vital in saving lives just like that of my […]

Reading into the Future: Development of Long-read DNA Sequencing

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics

By Aditi Goyal, Genetics and Genomics, ‘22 At this moment, the next revolution in the field of biology is currently underway: third-generation sequencing, or Long-Read sequencing. Instead of relying on cluster-based short read technology (1), third-generation sequencing builds a DNA sequence on a nucleotide basis, therefore eliminating the extensive process of read alignment. Until now, scientists across the world have been heavily relying on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for getting DNA sequences. This technology creates clusters of short DNA sequences, which range anywhere from 50 to 150 base pairs in length, by using fluorescent nucleotides (2). It is often referred to as sequencing by synthesis because a DNA sequence is created by tracking which nucleotides are being used to build the parallel […]

CD47-SIRPα Pathway as a Target for Cancer Therapeutics

Posted Posted in Biology, Cell Biology

By: Nicholas Garaffo, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 20’ Authors’ Note: I originally wrote this piece for my UWP 104E class Writing in the Science’s, but I have since expanded my topic and complicated my original analysis. Ultimately, I submitted this piece to the Norman J. Lang Prize, was awarded second place, and presented my research to the UC Davis college deans. I chose to focus my literary review on cell signaling pathways because I hope to study such topics in my PhD. This topic has impacted my life personally because my grandmother was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma my freshman year of college. In fact, during this review the drugs she was treated with were mentioned, and the CD47-SIRPa pathway may […]

CRISPR/HDR Platform Allows for the Production of Monoclonal Antibodies with the Constant Region of Choice

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics

By Sharon Yang, Cell Biology, ‘20 Author’s Note: I first came across an article talking about this new innovation on Science X. Having worked with hybridomas and antibodies through various internships, I was deeply intrigued by this discovery and secured an original paper to learn more about its potential applications. Because of the revolutionizing usage of antibodies in the medical field, it is vital to understand how this finding will facilitate antibody-based therapies in clinical research.     Introduction Since the discovery of antibodies and their applications in therapeutics, many diseases once deemed incurable now have a treatment, if not a cure. Antibodies are proteins that recognize and bind to specific antigens (proteins that are considered “foreign” to the body). The […]