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.

Neural Mechanisms of Axon Degradation

Posted Posted in Biology, Neurobiology

By Timur Katsnelson, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘19 Author’s Note This topic was brought up during our discussion on the development of the nervous system in my neurobiology foundations class. I found it to be interesting because of its significance in the earliest stages of our lives. Further research into scientific literature discussing the role of pruning in neurodevelopment led me to learn more about its mechanism, distinctions from other forms of axon degrading, and its use in adult organisms.

Cultured Meat: Teaching an Old Cell New Tricks

Posted Posted in Environment, Genetics

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics ‘20   Author’s Note Cultured meat has been a topic of great discussion as we try to understand the extent to which animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues. While plant-based imitation meats have been on the market for decades, I was particularly interested in this lab-grown alternative when I heard that stem cells were being used to produce actual meat without having to raise animals themselves. This could potentially reduce the environmental footprint of the agricultural industry while providing a viable solution for consumers. While it is critical to understand how consumption levels of animal-based products have had an effect on health, and particularly how the change in consumption […]

3D Organoids as Models for Human Brain Research

Posted Posted in Biology, Health and Medicine

By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s Note I first became interested in this topic when I read a news article about a team of scientists that had successfully integrated what the article called “mini human brains” into mice. Although the idea seemed novel to me, after a little digging, I found that the technology that generates such mini organs — or organoids — has existed for more than a decade. This technology is nevertheless constantly evolving, and I believe it will continue to do so for years to come.

The Connection between the Human Gut Microbiota and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Posted Posted in Biology, Health and Medicine

By Emily Villarreal, Nutrition Science (Biology Emphasis), 2018 Author’s Note: This literature review was written for a UWP 104F course. I chose this topic because the gut microbiota is something that I am deeply interested in as a student researcher. The audience for this review includes medical professionals or members of academia who are interested in the microbiota and its effects on the onset of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

It’s in the Blood- Or Rather, the Genes: A Review of The Gene: An Intimate History

Posted Posted in Book Review

By Gita Mallya, Plant Biology, ‘19   Author’s note: I wrote this piece for my UWP 104E class with Brenda Rinard during Fall Quarter 2017. The assignment was to read a classic book based in science and then to write a review on it. I chose this book because I have always been fascinated by genetics and the study of genes even catalyzed my decision to study biology. Although the review was a class assignment, it gave me the opportunity to explore and think critically about a subject I feel passionately about. I would like the reader to come away with the notion that scientific study is not always as cut and dry as it may seem, and that The Gene is […]

Aggie Transcript Interview: Dr. Janine LaSalle

Posted Posted in Campus News and Reports, 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.

Fat to the rescue?

Posted Posted in Biology, Health and Medicine

By Sabrina Lazar, Cell Biology  ‘20 Author’s note: After attending an interesting meeting on cytoskeleton dynamics in the weekly Joint Seminars in Molecular Biology series, I wanted to learn more about the subject and found Anna Franz and her colleagues’ recent paper about fat cells in Drosophila, a model organism I work with and is dear to me. This essay serves as a way for me to share fascinating research with those that are interested in Drosophila, cells, or biology in general.