A Chemical Report on Heptachlor (Heptachlor Epoxide)

Posted Posted in Biology, Environment, Health and Medicine

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 […]

Davis Downfall According to Sierra Club

Posted Posted in Environment

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.

Cultured Meat: Teaching an Old Cell New Tricks

Posted Posted in Environment, Genetics

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics ‘20   Author’s Note Cultured meat has been a topic of great discussion as we try to understand the extent to which animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues. While plant-based imitation meats have been on the market for decades, I was particularly interested in this lab-grown alternative when I heard that stem cells were being used to produce actual meat without having to raise animals themselves. This could potentially reduce the environmental footprint of the agricultural industry while providing a viable solution for consumers. While it is critical to understand how consumption levels of animal-based products have had an effect on health, and particularly how the change in consumption […]

RoboBees: The Future of Food and Society?

Posted Posted in Environment, News

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics & Genomics, ’20 Author’s Note Going into my research on fully automated and autonomous bee swarms, I was aware that there was much controversy on how we as a society should address and work to solve the problem of the drastically declining honeybee population. Upon coming across the large initiative that a team at Harvard University is spearheading, I was interested whether robotic bees are the future of agriculture and moreover part of the tidal wave of automation.

The Relationship Between Genetic Diversity and Disturbance in the Eelgrass Species Zostera marina

Posted Posted in Environment, Genetics

By Ryan Green   Author’s note: This piece was written for my upper division university writing class, Writing in the Sciences. We were required to write a review article on a topic of our choice, and I chose the relationship between genetic diversity and disturbance of Zostera marina. I decided to pursue this topic because I was concurrently working in a molecular ecology eelgrass lab on campus, and I believed to get the most out of this lab experience I should have a good grasp of the current research that is already published and what still needs to be published within the subject. I hope this review gives readers a better understanding of where we now stand in eelgrass molecular […]

Polylactic Acid as a Biodegradable Composite: A Review

Posted Posted in Environment

By Madison Dougherty, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘18 Author’s Note: I wrote this paper for my UWP 104E class. I have always been interested in sustainability, and this paper provided me with an excellent outlet for researching methods related to environmentally friendly packaging options. In recent years, I have become increasingly aware of the harshness of plastics and other synthetic polymers on the planet. This paper serves to educate others about ways to improve the overall sustainability of the plastic industry.

Addressing Eutrophication: Algae as Wastewater Treatment and Potential Biofuel Source

Posted Posted in Environment

By Sara Ludwick, Environmental Science & Management, ’19 Author’s note: In my Global Environmental Interactions class, we learned a lot about nitrogen and phosphorous as essential elements, but also as sources of eutrophication which threatens life in the ocean by disrupting food chains and causing anoxia. I decided to write a paper about the potential for microalgae to be cultivated as a way to remove those nutrient inputs from the water before it reaches the ocean, changing their role from the source of eutrophication to a possible solution.

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

Posted Posted in Biology, Campus News and Reports, Environment

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 […]

Ants Who Farm: The Evolution of Fungal Obligate Symbiosis

Posted Posted in Biology, Environment

By Wren Greaney, History major, Biological Sciences & Community Development minor, ’17 Author’s note: “I started to look into entomological research as a result of learning about insect diversity in ENT100. I came across a study regarding ants’ fascinating advanced ability to cultivate fungi. I thought it was incredible that we have agriculture in common with those tiny insects, and became interested in how ants are similar to and perhaps more advanced than humans in some ways.”

A New Role for Mosquitoes in Disease-Outbreak Prevention

Posted Posted in Environment, Health and Medicine

By Chantele Karim Author’s Note “I became interested in vector-borne diseases in Spring of 2016, when I conducted an independent study on the ethical advancement of genetically modifying technology. I discussed the potential application of CRISPR to mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti, in the effort to combat dengue. Throughout my extensive research, the danger posed by mosquitoes was commonly emphasized by diverse sources. It was thus surprising to read that Microsoft’s Project Premonition is based on the assertion that mosquitoes can be useful to us in our quest to control vector-borne diseases. My intrigue led me to research the project further to better understand its method, application, and potential.”