Using DNA Databases to Track Down the Golden State Killer Suspect

May 08, 2018
It’s been widely reported that investigators got a break in the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer case when they uploaded a DNA profile to a genealogy database, GEDmatch, and identified relatives of the suspect, Joseph DeAngelo. Did they get lucky, or did they have a good chance of finding him? UC Davis population biologists Graham Coop and M. D. “Doc” Edge have written a nice explainer of the science behind this search.

Investigating the Seagrass Microbiome

March 28, 2018
Seagrass carpets the seafloor creating a unique and vital ecosystem in shallow marine environments. Sea turtles graze on seagrass leaves while smaller organisms seek refuge in the green fields but, on the microscopic level, seagrass is also home to microbial communities. Such microbes compose the seagrass microbiome and potentially play a role in seagrass ecology.

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.

Earth BioGenome Project to Sequence All Life

January 23, 2018
In an effort to protect and preserve the Earth’s biodiversity and kick-start an inclusive bio-economy, the World Economic Forum today announced a landmark partnership between the Earth BioGenome Project, chaired by Harris Lewin, distinguished professor at the University of California, Davis, and the Earth Bank of Codes to map the DNA of all life on Earth.

Guardians of the Genome

UC Davis Researchers Unlock the Genetics of Cancer to Advance the Future of Personalized Medicine by David Slipher 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.

Knotty Problems: Mariel Vazquez Shares How E. Coli Reconnects Tangled DNA 

October 11, 2017
If you’ve ever tried to untangle a pair of earbuds, you’ll understand how loops and cords can get twisted up. DNA can get tangled in the same way, and in some cases, has to be cut and reconnected to resolve the knots. Now a team of mathematicians, biologists and computer scientists has unraveled how E. coli bacteria can unlink tangled DNA by a local reconnection process. The math behind the research, recently published in Scientific Reports, could have implications far beyond biology.

Close-Up View of DNA Replication Yields Surprises

June 15, 2017
For the first time scientists have been able to watch individual steps in the replication of a single DNA molecule, with some surprising findings. For one thing, there’s a lot more randomness at work than has been thought. “It’s a different way of thinking about replication that raises new questions,” said Stephen Kowalczykowski, distinguished professor in microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of California, Davis, and at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. The work is published June 15 in the journal Cell with co-authors James Graham, postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, and Kenneth Marians, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.