Our DNA is constantly at risk of damage from chemicals or radiation, or routine processes in the cell. Sustained damage to DNA can lead to cancer, so quick and accurate repair is vital. A new study by researchers at UC Davis, published Oct. 23 in the journal Nature, shows how the mechanisms of repairing and copying DNA are balanced.
“The ultimate aim is to be able to push the balance in cancer cells away from repairing their DNA,” said Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, professor of microbiology at UC Davis and senior author on the paper. That would make cancer more vulnerable to drugs and radiation.
The precipitous decline of the summer Arctic sea ice pack is probably the most visible, large scale change on Earth’s surface in recent years. Most global climate models, however, have significantly underestimated these losses. Kenneth Golden, professor of mathematics at the University of Utah, will give a talk Tuesday, Nov. 1 on campus on how math is being used to study melting ice.
The talk begins at 4.10 p.m. in Math Sciences, room 1147.
These two beautifully produced videos show how UC Davis geologist Howard Spero and colleagues are using tiny marine animals to study the climate of the distant past.
Sediments from the bottom of the ocean are thick with the shells of planktonic animals callled foraminifera or ‘forams.’ These shells contain chemical traces that reflect the state of the ocean when they lived, and that can tell researchers about the climate millions of years ago.
Spero’s team dives around the Catalina islands to collect forams and bring them back to the lab, where they are cultured under different conditions so that they can calibrate their reconstructions of ancient climate.
The winning team’s car, “CoKi Stroj” uses pneumatic pressure to run and a color changing reaction to stop. Coki Stroj defeated 31 other shoe-box sized cars bedecked with cougars, tiger tails and school logos.
The UC Davis car, “Stroeve,” was powered by an aluminum air battery with an iodine clock stopping mechanism.
The program is part of the Understanding and Managing Extremes Graduate School of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Pavia. Students from 8 countries (Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Brazil and Mexico) are enrolled in the program, which focuses on the assessment, mitigation and management of extreme events, especially those arising from natural disasters.
UC Davis West Village, the largest planned zero net energy community in the country, opened its doors to visitors and the media Saturday. The development, which includes both student, faculty and staff housing as well as commercial space, is designed to generate as much energy as it consumes.
Students began moving into the community’s Viridian and Ramble Apartments in August, with nearly all of the apartments now leased. Final build-out is expected in fall 2013. Today, the two apartment complexes are home to about 800 students, faculty and staff. Single-family homes, for sale to staff and faculty, are slated to be completed in late 2012.
Here at UC Davis, pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween. They are also used for research year-round. Professor Bill Lucas of the Department of Plant Biology uses pumpkins for his research on communications in plants because it is easy to tap their abundant sap. See more in this video.
Or there may be a simpler explanation that has more to do with ocean currents and how bones fall into piles than with monstrous, artistically-inclined cephalopods. Ryosuke Motani, a geology professor at UC Davis and an expert on ichthyosaurs and other swimming reptiles, told National Geographic that the ‘Kraken’ theory was “fun to think about…but very implausible.”
The Nobel committee honored Shechtman for discovering natural ‘quasicrystals’ (‘almost-crystals’).
True crystals are materials built up in a repeating pattern. As every chemist learns, a true crystal can only have certain kinds of symmetry — two-, three-, four- or six-fold. In other words, you can build a cubic crystal out of a lot of small cubes, or a lot of hexagons. But you can’t build a real crystal out of a symmetric shape with five, seven or eight sides.
“It’s very well deserved. The discovery was a huge surprise to many, and it made a lot of puzzle pieces fall into place, while simultaneously raising deeper questions,” said Lloyd Knox, professor of physics.