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.
In a new study appearing in Nature Cell Biology, UC Davis researchers found that tau molecules can congregate together in a novel, reversible way, which appears to be distinct from the irreversible tangle formation observed in neurodegenerative diseases.
Professor Paul Knoepfler, UC Davis Genome Center, studies the epigenetic and transcriptional control mechanisms that direct stem cell fate and tissue growth. He's also a writer, recently co-authoring the book How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying: A Satirical Look at Cutting-Edge Science with his daughter Julie Knoepfler. Helen Pilcher recently reviewed the book in Nature.
UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister studies the puzzle of the developing brain. Part of her research focuses on why viral infection during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of a child developing autism and schizophrenia.
While we know certain plant-derived compounds act as insect repellents, much of the molecular science behind insect olfaction remains a mystery. In a study published in iScience, UC Davis researchers exposed further layers of complexity in the mosquito olfactory system.
In a study appearing in Science, Assistant Professor Celina Juliano, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and her colleagues used single-cell sequencing techniques to explore the genetic trajectory for nearly 25,000 cells of the immortal Hydra.
In a study appearing in Nature Communications, researchers identified the function of a key protein that regulates plant immunity. The fundamental research could eventually lead to agricultural practices capable of endowing crops with broad-spectrum resistance against pathogens.
During his career, Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar has published more than 100 research papers and reviews and has received many accolades. For his excellence in molecular plant pathology research, Dinesh-Kumar recently received the Noel T. Keen Award from The American Phytopathological Society.
In Richard McKenney’s lab, Wenzhe Li studies the motor protein cytoplasmic dynein. Aided by her interest in psychology, Li aims to link cellular and molecular biology processes to mind and behavior. For her work, she was awarded the Ronald and Lydia Baskin Research Award.