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, […]

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 […]

The Effect of Trastuzumab on HER2-Signaling in Breast Cancers to Induce Cardiotoxicity

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics, News

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.

Recent Efforts Toward Engineering Anticancer Plant Secondary Metabolites

Posted Posted in Biochemistry, Biology, Book Review, Cell Biology

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.

A Regenerative Cocktail: Combination of Drugs Promotes the Conversion of Glial Cells to Neurons

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Neurobiology

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.

This is Your Brain on Music

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Neurobiology

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 […]

A Forbidden Food: a Narrative about Chronic Allergy Management

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Health and Medicine

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.

CRISPR: Are We Ready For It?

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics, ’20 Author’s Note: When I found out that CRISPR was used for the first time on human embryos that were fully brought to term, I was pretty surprised that such a new technology with numerous unknowns was being used on the germline. I was interested in understanding the reasoning for such an experiment and what may come out of it in the long run. To some, CRISPR may seem like a far off technology that could be applied to humans in the distant future. However, the experiment on the twin fetuses that went through this “genetic surgery” proves that CRISPR is happening now and is likely to stay.   But first, how does CRISPR work? […]

Efficacy of Various Treatments in Comparison to Surgery for Lower Back Pain Related to Disc Herniation

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Health and Medicine

By Arianne Medrano, Psychology- Biology Emphasis, ‘19
Author’s Note: I wrote this literature review for my UWP 104F class in my fourth year at UC Davis. My goal is to become a physical therapist and one of the most common complaints I hear from older generations is that they cannot perform activities they once loved because of a ‘bad back.’ My father experienced a disc related injury, which led to sciatica, after he fell off a ladder. This prevents him from enjoying activities such as heavy-lifting, riding roller coasters or picking up his grandson. For these reasons, I was interested in researching effective prevention and treatments to help alleviate discomfort and improve quality of life.