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.

CRISPR: Are We Ready For It?

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics, ’20 Author’s Note: When I found out that CRISPR was used for the first time on human embryos that were fully brought to term, I was pretty surprised that such a new technology with numerous unknowns was being used on the germline. I was interested in understanding the reasoning for such an experiment and what may come out of it in the long run. To some, CRISPR may seem like a far off technology that could be applied to humans in the distant future. However, the experiment on the twin fetuses that went through this “genetic surgery” proves that CRISPR is happening now and is likely to stay.   But first, how does CRISPR work? […]

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 […]

“Gut Feeling”: How Does Modulation of Gut Microbiome Affect Depression Pathophysiology and Status?

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Neurobiology

By Raida Aldosari, Nutrition Science (Biology option) ’18 Author’s Note: I wrote this literature review as part of my UWP 104F class with Dr. Lisa Sperber. The assignment was to choose a clinically-relevant topic, review the existing body of literature on this topic, and choose a specific area to write on. My topic of interest was about the relationship between gut microbiome and the brain. I became interested in this topic after reading an article about the differences between the microbial composition of individuals with depression. By the end of the quarter, my research question evolved from “how does our diet affect our brain or mood?” to “how does modulation of gut microbiome affect depression pathophysiology?” I enjoyed the flexibility of the […]

Epigenetic Approach Sheds Light on Potential New Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics, News

By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s note: I first learned about this news through an article on Big Think that provided few details about the science behind the breakthrough. Reading the original research paper clarified both how this research had been conducted and what was so noteworthy about it. Given the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, this new study may yet prove to be instrumental in the disorder’s treatment.

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.

Cause of Seizures in Individuals with Angelman Syndrome

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics, Neurobiology, News

By Neha Madugala, Cognitive Science, ‘22 Author’s Note While browsing recent scientific achievements and breaking news in the scientific community, I came across an article declaring that the 125-year-old neuroscience mystery surrounding perineuronal nets (PNNs) is finally resolved. PNNs have stumped neuroscientists for decades, yet their importance is undeniable. To understand the extent of this discovery, I read more about PNNs and found that they have a key connection to Angelman syndrome, which causes severe epileptic seizures in children. The new findings from the Philpot Lab identifying the purpose of PNNs draw a connection between PNNs and seizures, and this information can lead to improved medications and therapeutic treatment methods.

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.