Latest News

March of Dimes Award Supports Richard McKenney’s Research into Prenatal Brain Development

March 15, 2018
For more than a decade, Assistant Professor Richard McKenney, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, has dedicated his research to the microscopic world of movement and transportation within cells. Now, a two-year, $150,000 research award from the March of Dimes will support his research to better understand how molecular dysfunction influences prenatal brain development.

Bacteria of the Flies: Tracing the Spread of Disease-Controlling Wolbachia

March 09, 2018
In a study appearing in Current Biology, Michael Turelli, distinguished professor of genetics in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, and his colleagues traced the spread of closely related Wolbachia across Drosophila fly species. They found that while the flies evolutionarily diverged tens of millions of years ago, their Wolbachia bacteria diverged only tens of thousands of years ago.

Jennifer Whistler: On the Search for Safer Opioids

March 08, 2018
As healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies, patients and families grapple with the opioid crisis, researchers are rushing to design safer opioids. Center for Neuroscience Associate Director Jennifer Whistler believes drug development is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to opioids. Her solution: design a better drug that mimics the body's natural pain reliever, endorphin.

New Machine Learning Algorithm Finds Patterns in RNA Structures

March 01, 2018
Software inspired by speech recognition technology could help scientists understand the secret language inside cells. A machine learning algorithm called patteRNA, designed by UC Davis researchers, rapidly mines ribonucleic acid, commonly called RNA, for specific structures, providing a new method to establish links between structure, function and disease.

Native Wildflowers Bank on Seeds Underground to Endure Drought

March 01, 2018
Native wildflowers were surprisingly resilient during California’s most recent drought, even more so than exotic grasses. But signs of their resilience were not evident with showy blooms aboveground. Rather, they were found mostly underground, hidden in the seed bank, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

Harnessing Plant Microbiomes to Promote Agricultural Growth

February 28, 2018
In a paper appearing in PLOS Biology, Joseph Edwards, ’17 Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan, Departments of Plant Biology and Plant Sciences and their colleagues tracked root microbiome shifts throughout the life-cycle of rice (Oryza sativa). The research could help inform the design of agricultural probiotics by introducing age-appropriate microbes that promote traits like nutrient efficiency, strong roots and increased growth rates in rice plants.

Guardians of the Genome

February 26, 2018
For many, breast cancer is more than just a disease – it’s personal. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. But through new discoveries at the genetic level, the personal nature of cancer will eventually be what helps to beat it.

Sea Change: UC Davis Explores the Future of Ocean Acidification

February 26, 2018
Beneath the sapphire waters of the Pacific shoreline, a pervasive threat to marine life grows. Human-produced carbon dioxide is altering the chemistry of the sea. To lead the future of climate change research, an interdisciplinary team of UC Davis scientists at the Bodega Marine Lab is collaborating to understand and confront an emergent global crisis.

Got Milk? Rebecca Calisi Rodríguez Talks Motherhood and Science Conferences

February 23, 2018

In an op-ed appearing in Science,  Assistant Professor Rebecca Calisi Rodríguez, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, addresses a difficulty facing working mothers. By starting a conversation around pregnancy, lactation and childcare, she hopes to create a culture of equity and inclusion in the science community. Go to Science to read her piece "Got milk, must conference.

Small Flowers, Big Implications for Species Extinction in the Face of Climate Change

February 21, 2018
A small, short-lived mountain wildflower is providing clues to understand the larger threats of species extinction as the climate warms. In a new study from Science Advances, UC Davis alumna Anne Marie Panetta, ’17 Ph.D. in Ecology, used historical surveys and experimental data to demonstrate that climate warming contributes to a reduction of biodiversity in ecosystems.