Learning from Drought in California: Past and Present

Posted Posted in Environment, News

By Marisa Sanchez, Molecular and Cellular Biology, ’15 The most current drought in California is considered to be one of the worst droughts in the past century, and many wonder if this severity is due to climate change. However, California has had a long history of unpredictable weather fluctuations, and is familiar with severe droughts. Many droughts can have devastating […]

From Embryo to Tumor: the widespread applications of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Posted Posted in News

By Briga Mullin, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’15 What do a smoker, a two week old embryo, a child with a broken wrist, and a metastatic tumor all have in common? While these are a diverse group of conditions, they all have cells that are experiencing the same process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Mesenchymal cells are non-polarized, mobile, invasive, […]

Viruses and the Global Metabolic Pathway

Posted Posted in Genetics

By Oyang Teng, Biological Sciences ’14 Microbes are the planetary engineers of the biogeochemical cycles that sustain all life on earth. At the molecular scale, the biological turnover of such key elements as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, iron and sulfur depends on the enzymatic transfer of electrons from reduced (electron-donating) to oxidized (electron-accepting) forms of these elements. On the global scale […]

Ode to Complementation

Posted Posted in Arts

By Angelica Degnan, Genetics ’15 Oh complementation testing whatever do you do? How does thee help me explain the mutants true? Begin with two recessive strains Cross, observe, unearth the ones that are the same What does this mean? How do you explain the ones that function redundantly through? Complementation, complementation alas I see the light That alleles that are […]

Photography: DNA

Posted Posted in Arts

By Riley Galton, Genetics ’14 Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, encodes all of the instructions necessary for the beautiful figures and forms that can be found in the biological world. All plants, animals, and humans— subjects that are so familiar to the photographer—share the same underlying, four-letter genetic code. It is this simple molecular code that gives rise to the incredible […]

Arabidopsis – Model Organism

Posted Posted in Genetics

By John Tran,  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ’14 Have you ever wanted to learn more about the plant model organism? Plants have many unique properties that make them especially important to all aspects of life. They provide oxygen, food, and energy, so you could imagine that there are many cellular and molecular processes that are involved in plants. For these […]

Population Vector

Posted Posted in Arts

By Jennifer Jahncke, Psychology ’14 Something we talk about a lot in neuroscience in terms of topics like visual perception and locomotion is population vectors. A population vector is the sum of each component vector. In this image, with the trees converging to a vanishing point, the population vector would be the vector in the center of the cluster (though not […]

When the Last Frog Croaks

Posted Posted in Environment

By Renata Vidovic, Evolution and Ecology ’15 To some, the phrase climate change evokes images of dry lakes, melting icebergs, and rising oceans. However, the effects of global warming are not simply cataclysmic geological changes. There are links between all biotic and abiotic features of an ecosystem. Unsurprisingly, climate change has an immense impact on frog populations around the world. […]

Mapping neurons through online gaming

Posted Posted in News, Technology

By: Jenny Cade, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ‘15 One of the biggest challenges in neuroscience today is mapping the wiring of the nervous system. Looking at the spatial arrangement of neural networks can tell us a lot about how information is relayed, but accurate 3D mapping of neurons is an enormously challenging task, even with the aid of computer analysis. […]

Evolution of Tooth Enamel

Posted Posted in News

By Marisa Sanchez, Molecular and Cellular Biology, ‘15 One feature that sets humans apart from other primates is the thickness of tooth enamel. Scientists at Duke University have recently discovered evidence on how evolution has resulted in thickened enamel for human teeth. By comparing the human genome to five other primate species, geneticists and evolutionary anthropologists were able to identify […]