Robot-Assisted Surgeries

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine, News, Technology

By Neha Madugala, Cognitive Science, ‘22 Author’s Note: I came across an article detailing the future of surgery. What initially seems like science fiction may be becoming a reality as more and more surgeries are being administered by robots. Through my research, however, I found that robot-assisted surgeries may have the initial appeal of lowering human error, but there are still various issues that must be resolved before they can fully take over in the surgical room.    Robot-assisted surgeries boast the potential of shorter recovery time, less pain and blood, and fewer scars and infections. They have been on the market for a little less than twenty years, and have been used in cancer procedures for about the past […]

Finding a Solution in the Source: Exploring the Potential for Early Beta Cell Proliferation to Disrupt Autoreactive Tendencies in a Type 1 Diabetes Model

Posted Posted in Biology, Cell Biology, Health and Medicine

By Reshma Kolala, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ‘22 Residing in the pancreas are clusters of specialized cells, namely alpha, beta (), and delta cells. cells, more specifically, are insulin-secreting cells that are instrumental in the body’s glucose regulation mechanism. An elevation of the extracellular glucose concentrations allows glucose to enter cells via GLUT2 transporters, where it is subsequently metabolized. The resultant increase in ATP catalyzes the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, triggering the depolarization of the plasma membrane which in turn stimulates insulin release by cells (1). In individuals with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), however, pancreatic islet beta cells are damaged by pro-inflammatory cytokines that are released by the body’s own immune cells. The loss of functional beta cell mass induces […]

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 […]

Lethal and Perplexing: An Overview of Metal Phosphides and Their International Impact

Posted Posted in Biology, Health and Medicine

By Taylor Riedley, Biology, ‘20 Author’s Note: I wrote this paper for my UWP 102B class with Dr. Brenda Rinard in Winter Quarter 2019. For the preliminary stage of an assignment, I reviewed primary research on metal phosphide poisoning and wrote a formal paper geared towards a medical audience. For the final stage, I translated my formal paper into this one, intending it for a curious though not necessarily scientific audience. I chose this topic because I am considering an occupation in forensic pathology, and while I searched for articles about pathological findings, I came across an autopsy of a victim of metal phosphide poisoning. I was struck by the discrepancy between the general outward symptoms and the lethal organ […]

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.

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.

Erasing Cue-Associated Memories

Posted Posted in Biology, Health and Medicine, Neurobiology

By Neha Madugala, Cognitive Science, ‘22 Author’s Note: While working on a different paper, I became interested in treatment and therapy for drug addiction. Addiction continues to increase, yet there seem to be limited viable options to actually overcome this problem. One of the main issues in the recovery process is relapses. I found this study interesting and promising for drug therapy because it directly targets relapses, an important step in preventing and treating drug addiction more effectively.

Are Children Fighting The “Fat” Gene? An Analysis of Pediatric Obesity and Genetics

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics, Health and Medicine

By Peggy Palsgaard Author’s Note: I wrote this literature review for my UWP 104F class, and I specifically chose this topic because obesity is a very stigmatized disorder or “disease” (as the AAMC recently labeled it). I wanted to explore the link to genetics and to see how thoroughly we understand the underlying causes of obesity, specifically in children. Further, the judgement of both the children and the children’s parents has brought up a conversation about whether or not it is okay to place a child into foster care for treatment of obesity, due to lack of care by the parents. Initially, research into foster care seemed out of place in this paper. However, I think it’s an interesting way […]

New Drug “Sponge” Absorbs Chemo Side Effects

Posted Posted in Health and Medicine, News

By Brooke Bahn, Neurology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘22 Author’s Note: I heard about this device on the news, and I was immediately intrigued by the concept. I decided to research it further, upon which I was surprised how logical and efficient the device worked with such substantial results. I wanted to share what I believe to be a huge breakthrough in cancer research.

Novel Mechanisms and Functions of Protein Kinase D in the Cardiovascular System

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics, Health and Medicine

By Anna Kirillova, Genetics & Genomics ‘19   Author’s Note: I am currently studying the signaling of Protein Kinase D in cardiomyocytes as a part of my senior thesis research project. Writing this review helped me understand the known mechanisms and the techniques used to perform functional assessments of the molecule. I learned how to review literature to find key information and create a story from different sources. I hope that the reader will become interested in one of the major concepts of my review and will continue exploring it on their own time.