Aggie Transcript Interview: Dr. Janine LaSalle

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Mari Hoffman, Genetics and Genomics ‘21 Author’s Note: I chose to interview Dr.LaSalle because of my interest in epigenetics and the relationship that our genes have with environmental interactions. Dr. LaSalle’s lab focuses on the role of epigenetics in the human autism-spectrum and many other neurodegenerative disorders. Her research group looks at the pathogenesis of the disorders by focusing on heritable changes that are not encoded in the DNA, such as DNA methylation and imprinted genes. It was an honor to get to talk to Dr. LaSalle about her research, as she is extremely passionate about this very complex and exciting topic.

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 […]

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 […]

Could a DNA Sample Reconstruct a Face?

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Anna Kirillova, Cell Biology, ’19 Author’s Note: I came across facial genetics in one of my classes and immediately decided to write a review about it. To my surprise, the field was not as developed as I’ve expected it to be, but with the rise of facial recognition technologies, this area of research will be growing in the near future. In this review, I explained basic concepts and recent advancements in the field of human facial genetics.

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.

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.

Cell-free DNA Testing as the Next Generation of Cancer Screening

Posted Posted in Genetics

By: Anna Kirillova, Cell Biology, ‘19   Author’s Note: “This article was brought to my attention in my Human Genetics class (MCB 162) when we were discussing novel methodologies for diagnosis of fetal trisomies (Down Syndrome). The purpose of this review is to highlight how basic biology can translate into significant advancements in disease diagnosis. I hope that the reader will be intrigued by the new genetic technologies and will proceed onto reading the original research article using this review as a guide.”

The multi-functional protein kinases: ATM and ATR

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics

By Carly Cheung, Microbiology, ‘17 Author’s Note: “The goal of this paper is to portray the multifunctionality of proteins involved in the cell and how interconnected one process is to another, even though two processes appear to be unrelated. I am fascinated by the system of signal transduction in our cells and admire how elaborate and complicated the network is. This is best shown by examining the two proteins, ATM and ATR, that are known for their functions in cell cycle regulation and DNA break repair. The paper explores the changes in their transduction pathways seen in mammals with cancer, metabolic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.”

Epigenetics and Intergenerational Health

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Wren Greaney, History major, Biological Sciences & Community Development minor, ’17 Author’s Note: “I became interested in the impact of epigenetics after reading an article about the effects of environmental pollution on generations beyond the population subjected to the pollution. So much focus in human biology is placed on genetics; it is fascinating that a closely related and significant topic exists that is unique from genetics itself. As epigenetic research progresses, I think it will find a large role in advancing healthcare as well as our understandings about humans’ biological identities.”

The Past, Present, and Future of Genetically Modified Organisms

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Rachel Hull Author’s note When I began my research for this piece, I was primarily interested in the controversy over the fairly new bill in the United States requiring labels on foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. Little did I know that as I was gathering my sources, a new GMO dispute would emerge, this one revolving around bioengineered non-browning apples. Thus I switched my focus from the bill to the arrival of these apples to stores across the U.S. — an arrival that means an investigation into the history and science behind genetically engineered food products is even timelier than I originally thought.