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.

Rebecca Calisi's Pigeon Study Takes on Sexism in Science

April 20, 2017
A new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of New Hampshire, published April 18 in Scientific Reports, shows surprisingly big differences in tissue gene expression between male and female rock doves. The work is part of an attempt to make science more gender-inclusive and aware of physiological and other differences between the sexes.

Plant Genes May Lack Off Switch, But Have Volume Control

April 13, 2017
Professor Alan Rose has been working for over two decades to unravel a mechanism called “intron-mediated enhancement.” I’m a graduate student in Rose’s lab, and we made an exceptional discovery in an unexceptional plant called Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale cress. Arabidopsis is the lab mouse of the plant world. The Rose lab uses this small weed to answer questions about the biology of all plants. In a study recently published in the journal The Plant Cell, we show that genetic material known as introns can play very dramatic roles in plants.

New Steps in the Meiosis Chromosome Dance

February 06, 2017
Where would we be without meiosis and recombination? For a start, none of us sexually reproducing organisms would be here, because that’s how sperm and eggs are made. And when meiosis doesn’t work properly, it can lead to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and developmental disorders. Neil Hunter’s laboratory at the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences is teasing out the complex details of how meiosis works.