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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Author Archive: Andy Fell

Motor protein offers cancer treatment target

The structure of a key part of the machinery that allows cells to divide has been identified by UC Davis researchers, opening new possibilities for throwing a wrench in the machine and blocking runaway cell division in cancer. “The structure of kinesin-5 is unexpected, and the implications are big — it allows us to target […]

Reef fish arrived in two waves, say researchers

The world’s reefs are hotbeds of biological diversity, including more than 4,500 species of fish. A new study shows that the ancestors of these fish colonized reefs in two distinct waves, before and after the mass extinction event about 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs. Reef fish represent one of the largest […]

Plankton make scents for birds, cooler planet

The top predators of the Southern Ocean, far-ranging seabirds, are tied both to the health of the ocean ecosystem and to global climate regulation through a mutual relationship with phytoplankton, according to newly published work from UC Davis. When phytoplankton are eaten by grazing crustaceans called krill, they release a chemical signal that calls in […]

Study examines how brain files memories by time

Before I left the house this morning, I let the cat out and started the dishwasher. Or was that yesterday? Very often, our memories must distinguish not just what happened and where, but when an event occurred — and what came before and after. New research from the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience shows that […]

New sources sought for scents, flavors

Fresh banana, a waft of flowers, blueberry: the scents in Shota Atsumi’s laboratory in the UC Davis department of chemistry are a little sweeter than most. That’s because Atsumi and his team are engineering bacteria to make esters — molecules widely used as scents and flavorings, and also as basic feedstock for chemical processes from […]

UCD biochemist earns Sloan Fellowship for ‘designer enzymes’

Justin Siegel — a biochemist at UC Davis who uses computers to develop new “designer enzymes” with properties not found in nature — has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship to support his work. The fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is valued at about $50,000 over two years. Siegel — who is […]

Mt. Hood study tracks volcano activity

Forecasts of when a volcano is ready to erupt could be a little closer thanks to work by geologists at UC Davis and Oregon State University published online Feb. 16 in the journal Nature. For an eruption to occur, the magma, or molten rock under the volcano must be sufficiently mobile to erupt. “The question […]

Chemists turn plant waste into ‘biogasoline’

Gasoline-like fuels can be made from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste using a new process invented by UC Davis chemists. The process could open up new markets for plant-based fuels, beyond existing diesel substitutes. “What’s exciting is that there are lots of processes to make linear hydrocarbons, but until now nobody has […]

Students learn engineering through coffee

From a latte with friends to an all-night study session, students likely drink as much coffee as anyone. But this winter, UC Davis students are getting a new insight into their favorite hot drink through two new courses that use the roasting, processing and brewing of coffee to teach the principles of chemical engineering. “From […]

After space trek, flies have weakness to fungus

Blasting off into space might be a bold adventure, but it may not be good for your immune system. Now, a study by UC Davis researchers shows how growing up on the space shuttle weakened a key arm of the immune system in Drosophila flies. It’s well-established that spaceflight affects immune responses, said Deborah Kimbrell, […]

Invaders, acidification threaten oysters

The once-booming, now struggling Olympia oyster native to the West Coast could face a double threat from ocean acidification and invasive predators, according to new research from UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory. Invasive snails ate 20 percent more juvenile oysters when both oysters and snails were raised under ocean conditions forecast for the end of […]

Blood clots absorb toxin, UCD researchers find

Blood clots play an unexpected role in protecting the body from the deadly effects of bacteria by absorbing bacterial toxins, UC Davis researchers have found. “It’s a significant addition to the short list of defenses that animals use to protect themselves against toxin-induced sepsis,” said Peter Armstrong, professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC […]

LED pioneer Woodall turns focus to energy, water

You might not know what “lattice-matched heterojunctions” are, but if you stopped at a new stoplight, played a DVD or used a laser pointer, you’ve made use of technology pioneered by Jerry Woodall, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UC Davis. Woodall, who has published more than 350 papers and owns 85 […]

Ten faculty members honored for advancing science

Ten UC Davis faculty members have been elected in the 2013 class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among 388 new fellows elected this year by other members of the society for their efforts to advance science or its applications. The new fellows from UCD: * Donald Bers, […]

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