By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s note I originally wrote this paper for my Biological Systems class, the instructor of which was interested in researching the physiological role of monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1). He instructed his students to write an essay exploring this role in any way they wanted, and I chose to focus on the link between MCT1 and cancer. I enjoyed sifting through multiple strands of evidence for the reasons behind this link — strands that oftentimes were not in agreement with one another.
by Bukre Coskun, Cell Biology ‘18 Authors Note: I wrote this mini journal article for my MCB 140L class. The class focused on the role and structure of septins, a group of proteins that are associated with several biological pathways, like autophagy. I chose to write about a set of experiments we did using yeast-two hybrid assays and fluorescence microscopy to understand the organization and interactions of septins. Abstract: Autophagy is a degradation pathway in which autophagosomes, vesicular structures, deliver proteins and damaged organelles to the lysosomes for degradation. Septins are GTP-binding proteins that localize at the bud-neck and are involved in cytokinesis in budding yeast. Septins also localize at pre-autophagosomal structures and the autophagosome in the autophagy pathway. […]
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.
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 […]
By: Cathy Guo, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘18 Author’s Note: “This is a reflective case study I wrote for UWP104F (Writing in the Health Profession) about a patient’s illness experience with chronic pain. After conducting an interview with the patient, I became intrigued by the controversial aspects of her ailment, and drew on research to better understand the scientific context of chronic pain. I hope that my reflection at the end raises questions that readers are also thinking, and that these questions could spur readers to learn more about the subject.”
by Bukre Coskun, Cell Biology ‘18 Author’s Note: I became interested in the immune system and the role of the thymus after taking an immunology class where I learned about how T-cells are distributed throughout our body. I wanted to explore this subject more after learning that the thymus, an organ that is integral to the production of T-cells, atrophies after puberty and eventually becomes inactive. Here, I review a publication that describes how the concentration of T-cells in our body changes as we age.
By Madison Dougherty, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ‘18 Author’s Note: After taking FST 3, Introduction to Brewing, I was intrigued by the brewing process and how yeast are such an important factor to the quality of beer that is produced. I have since looked deeper into yeast and the fermentation process, gaining a special interest in yeast-related research. I wrote this paper in order to discover more about the unique qualities of yeast and fermentation while informing others about this microorganism’s relevance to humans and other scientific processes.
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.”
By: Anh Nguyen, Microbiology, ’17 Author’s Note This article is a synthesis of research that I have found about the genetic basis of nicotine addiction. The purpose of this piece is to thoroughly inform the reader. In this article I will discuss how genetic variation affects nicotine dependence, review studies which examine the effects of this genetic variation, and discuss how genetic variation can influence the likelihood of other diseases. This article aims to follow an individual’s encounter with nicotine, starting with the first encounter of a cigarette to an examination of other diseases related to smoking. The sections below provide an explanation of the specific experiments which examined how nicotinic receptor genes affect an individual’s response to nicotine.
By N.J. Griffen, English, ’17 Author’s Note: “Stephen Hawking at the end of last year wrote an article for The Guardian saying: ‘…we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.’ In spirit of Hawking’s eerie warning to humanity, I chose to write this article to consider the variable possibility of a self-imposed extinction of humanity.”