Cellular and Microbiology

Mitochondrial Chitter-Chatter: Unveiling the Molecular Structures of Cellular Respiration

September 03, 2019
In order to generate energy, our bodies transfer electrons from food—sugars, fats and proteins—to molecular oxygen, which allows our cells to respire and function. Performed by the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), this process creates ATP, the “molecular currency” for energy in the cell. In a Molecular Cell study, Assistant Professor James Letts, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and colleagues reveal further nuances of the ETC.

The Infection Heist: How Social Viruses Team Up for the Perfect Score

July 11, 2019
Much like characters in a bank heist, viruses in competitive environments can collaborate for their share of the "score" of successfully co-infecting hosts. But these relationships may change once inside the host cell, according to Assistant Professor Samuel Díaz-Muñoz​.

Disease-Causing Nibbling Amoeba Hides by Displaying Proteins From Host Cells

April 30, 2019
A parasitic amoeba that causes severe gut disease in humans protects itself from attack by biting off pieces of host cells and putting their proteins on its own surface, according to a study by microbiologists at the University of California, Davis.

Visualizing “Unfurling” Microtubule Growth

November 13, 2018
Microtubule fibers are hollow rods made of much smaller tubulin subunits that spontaneously assemble at one end of the rod, but exactly how they do this inside the crowded environment of living cells has been a mystery. UC Davis researchers have uncovered the mechanism that puts these blocks in place, illustrated in a new animation.

“Cellular Memory” of DNA Damage in Oocyte Quality Control

September 27, 2018
During oocyte quality control, a decision is made whether each oocyte should continue and join the reserve of eggs or undergo cellular death. New research from Neil Hunter’s laboratory at UC Davis reveals the surprising way that this critical oocyte quality control process works.

Wayward Ways: New Study Reveals How the Nucleus Travels

September 20, 2018
Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools, Dan Starr created mutant versions of the worm C. elegans, to explore how the nucleus moves and repositions itself in the eukaryotic cell.