Aggie Transcript Interview—Dr. Daniel Starr

 

By Lauren Uchiyama, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17

Author’s Note:

I chose to write this piece because I felt Dr. Dan Starr is unique in that he is equally passionate about  teaching and research.  As an undergraduate in his BIS 104 cell biology class, I feel he highlights research well by teaching us from an experimental and historical perspective, which makes learning even more fun and interesting.  His reputation as a difficult, yet acclaimed educator has made him one of the most prominent biology professors at UC Davis.  I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I did!

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A Bee Appreciation (and Awareness) Post

By Chantele Karim, Biological Sciences, ’17

Author’s note:

“Over the past few years, I have noticed an increase in media attention directed toward bees. Although the presence of issues regarding bees in the United States was rather clear to me, their magnanimity remained largely obscure. Recently, I came across an article in The Economist on the invention of an artificial pollinator. I began to better understand the far-reaching extent of the global pollination crisis caused by suffering bee populations and felt compelled to research the topic further. This article seeks to briefly detail current issues regarding the decline of domestic and wild bees, as well as the approaches being undertaken in response.”

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UC Davis Hosts DataRescue Event To Archive Climate Research

By N. J. Griffen, English, ‘17

Author’s Note:

“I chose to write about this topic as a response to one of the many uncertainties that exists under our newly elected president, Donald Trump. More specifically, this article is meant to encompass the nationwide effort by scientists, professors, researchers and archivists to safeguard, backup and protect work conducted in the realm of climate science. This topic, I believe, should be integrally important to most residents of this planet; due to the fact that we have no choice but to live the entirety of our lives here on earth. Therefore, my interview of the archivists at UC Davis seeks to uncover the motives and connotations that the DataRescue Davis event assumes.”

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Epigenetics and Intergenerational Health

By Wren Greaney, History major, Biological Sciences & Community Development minor, ’17

Author’s Note: “I became interested in the impact of epigenetics after reading an article about the effects of environmental pollution on generations beyond the population subjected to the pollution. So much focus in human biology is placed on genetics; it is fascinating that a closely related and significant topic exists that is unique from genetics itself. As epigenetic research progresses, I think it will find a large role in advancing healthcare as well as our understandings about humans’ biological identities.”

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Tuberculosis 101

By Connie Chen, Microbiology, ‘16

Author’s Note:

“Many areas of employment, especially within health care, require employees to take a test to see if they have been exposed to tuberculosis (TB). Today, it is believed that one third of the world’s population is infected with some form of TB. However, not many people truly understand what tuberculosis is or what it does. I hope that after reading this, you will have a better understanding of TB.” Continue reading Tuberculosis 101

The Past, Present, and Future of Genetically Modified Organisms

By Rachel Hull

Author’s note

When I began my research for this piece, I was primarily interested in the controversy over the fairly new bill in the United States requiring labels on foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. Little did I know that as I was gathering my sources, a new GMO dispute would emerge, this one revolving around bioengineered non-browning apples. Thus I switched my focus from the bill to the arrival of these apples to stores across the U.S. — an arrival that means an investigation into the history and science behind genetically engineered food products is even timelier than I originally thought.

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Molecular Mechanisms Leading to FXTAS Development and Therapeutic Perspectives

By Candice Vieira, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17

Author’s Note:

After researching Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) treatment methods for a UWP 104F assignment, I learned that current FXTAS therapeutics is limited to symptomatic treatment. Most articles emphasized the need to better characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying FXTAS development to develop drugs specifically for FXTAS. Therefore, I questioned what researchers currently know regarding molecular events that lead to FXTAS signs and symptoms and how this knowledge can aid in drug therapies. This motivated me to prepare a literary review, intended to educate and inform practicing clinicians, especially neurologists and psychologists, about recent findings and the future directions for FXTAS research. For this assignment, we were expected to synthesize recent articles and provide relevant information for clinical practice. Specifically, I wanted clinicians to gain a better understanding of a primary focus within FXTAS research—molecular triggering events—and importantly, how this research relates to clinical treatment of FXTAS.

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To Infinity and Beyond: A Review of “The Life of Pi, and Other Infinities” by Natalie Angier

By Lo Tuan, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Managerial Economics, ’17

Author’s Note:

I wrote this review as an assignment for a UWP course that investigates the role of science in society using different lenses and models. It was a scintillating experience engaging in scientific reading and writing while evaluating the relationship between science and society. This paper proved to be a useful exercise for me to communicate scientific information to the general public in a clear and accessible manner.

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Our Newest Neighbors?

By Nicole Strossman, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ‘17

Author’s Note:

“I decided to write this piece after seeing news headlines announcing the potential of life on planets in a nearby star system. As this is a topic that fascinates many people, myself included, I decided to investigate the new discoveries. While the research on the particular planet mentioned in the various news articles is still fairly new, it has brought about renewed interest in the search for life beyond our planet. This article aims to describe what these recent discoveries are, and show the implications they have for astronomers.”

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