To attract a mate, male orchid bees collect scents from the environment to create the perfect aroma. In a study appearing in Nature Communications, UC Davis researchers link the evolution of sexual signaling in orchid bees to a gene that’s been shaped by each species’ perfume preferences
Biological sciences senior Diana Quintero likes to use the gym as an analogy for the Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP). Initially, new fitness enthusiasts might feel like they don’t measure up to their peers. But with training and persistence, they can acclimate to the rigors of hard work.
Professor Graham Coop and postdoctoral researcher Michael “Doc” Edge, both of the Department of Evolution and Ecology, warn that these “direct to consumer” DNA testing services could be vulnerable to a sort of genetic hacking.
In December 2018, Distinguished Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan and his colleagues published in Nature a method that allowed them to produce clonal seeds directly from plants, bypassing the sexual reproduction process. Replicating this process in the lab could prove vital to providing the world’s farmers with high-yielding, disease-resistant or climate-resistant food crops.
For nearly two decades, Professor Julin Maloof has shined a light on biological knowledge for UC Davis students, introducing computational methods to the life sciences curriculum. For his dedication to his students, Maloof received the 2018-2019 Faculty Teaching Award.
UC Davis researchers have been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the first part of a project to develop a novel approach to deliver genome editing machinery to genes responsible for a rare form of familial cancer.
Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
Assistant Professor Chang-il Hwang, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, studies pancreatic cancer, one of deadliest cancers. Learn more about how Hwang and his lab colleagues are fighting pancreatic cancer with the help of organoids.
Sexual determination and differentiation work in myriad ways across the animal kingdom. In vertebrates, like mammals and fish, sexual determination leads to the development of either ovaries or testis. These organs then secrete hormones that go on to govern the sexual development of the rest of the organism’s body. Insects are a completely different beast.
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.