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Category Archives: Biology

Do Zebra stripes confuse biting flies?

Audio: Listen to this story on our podcast, Three Minute Egghead.    Zebra stripes have fascinated people for millennia, and there are a number of different theories to explain why these wild horses should be so brightly marked. A handful …
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UC Davis scientists explore the microbiome

Today’s White House announcement of the National Microbiome Initiative will bring new funding and attention to better understand the billions of microbes that swarm around in and around us and probably play an important role in our health, food and …
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How antibiotics open door to “bad” gut bacteria: more oxygen

By Carole Gan Antibiotics are essential for fighting bacterial infection, but they can also make the body more prone to infection and diarrhea. Exactly how do antibiotics foster growth of disease-causing microbes – and how can resident “good” microbes in …
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Microbe studies zoom in on effects of HIV in the gut

By Pat Bailey The curtain cloaking how AIDS and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) impact the human digestive and immune systems has been drawn back a bit further, thanks to a team of researchers from UC Davis’ departments of Food Science …
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West Coast Scientists Recommend Immediate Action Plan to Combat Ocean Acidification

By Kat Kerlin Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering permanent changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast. Failure to act on this fundamental change in seawater chemistry, known as ocean acidification, is expected to have devastating ecological consequences for …
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Discovery links Brucella infection, inflammation, chronic diseases

By Carole Gan Researchers at UC Davis have discovered an unexpected link between how the immune system sounds an alarm when its cells are taken over by pathogens during an infection and how an inflammatory response is triggered. The finding …
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Tide pools at the front line of ocean acidification

By Becky Oskin Beloved by beach goers, tide pools are also important ecological zones that provide shelter and food for many plants and animals. Marine life living in tide pools are vulnerable to rising acid levels in seawater, according to …
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Not so sweet: Why Pollinators Forage on Toxic or Bitter Nectar

By Kathy Keatley Garvey Nectar doesn’t always taste so sweet, but honeybees and other pollinators still feed on it. Now UC Davis community ecologist Rachel Vannette has discovered why pollinators continue to forage on “toxic” or bitter-tasting nectar, despite what …
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UC Davis entomologists on the trail of virus-carrying mosquito

Aedes aegypti, a daytime-biting mosquito that predominantly feeds on humans, has spread to at least seven counties since June 2013, according to UC Davis medical entomologist Anthony Cornel of the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier, and the …
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Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment

UC Davis researchers have developed a way to use the empty shell of a Hepatitis E virus to carry vaccines or drugs into the body. The technique has been tested in rodents as a way to target breast cancer, and …
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