August 2019
A Message from the Dean: The "Summer of Science"

It’s been a busy summer at the College of Biological Sciences.

From mapping the cells in the immortal, regenerating Hydra to uncovering new insights in the plant-pathogen arms race , our researchers are busy exploring the secrets of biology. How do viruses infect cells to make the perfect score? They work together, like robbers on an infection heist .

Our students have been hard at work too. Just recently, two students groups won competitive $5,000 awards from the VentureWell Foundation for their innovative ideas, like manufacturing disposable hygiene products from renewable sources like agricultural waste.

On top of developing new technologies, our students are making a difference in the community. Neurobiology, physiology and behavior student Sid Ganesh uses her art to raise awareness about her work with substance users at the Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic.

I encourage you to browse the stories and video below to see how College of Biological Sciences students and faculty are changing the world.

And while the summer might not be endless, our search for discovery certainly is.

Go Ags!

Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 
P.S. Support our outstanding students and programs in the College of Biological Sciences by making a charitable gift TODAY!
Hydra boast stem cells which exist in a continuous state of renewal and seem to hold within their genomic code the key to biological immortality. Stefan Siebert
Mapping Cells in the “Immortal” Regenerating Hydra
In a study appearing in Science, Assistant Professor Celina Juliano, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and her colleagues used single-cell sequencing techniques to explore the genetic trajectory for nearly 25,000 cells of the immortal hydra.

The study was led by Stefan Siebert, a project scientist (and exceptional photographer) in Juliano's lab.

“The beauty of single-cell sequencing and why this is such a big deal for developmental biologists is that we can actually capture the genes that are expressed as cells differentiate from stem cells into their different cell types.”
-Celina Juliano

News Highlights
The Art of Harm Reduction: Sid Ganesh Searches for Substance Use Solutions
The Art of Harm Reduction is a three-part watercolor series by Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior student Sid Ganesh that attempts to “embody the lived experiences of persons who use drugs.”

The series serves as an homage to the vulnerable populations Ganesh regularly works with as co-director of the Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic, which offers healthcare to uninsured populations.   
VIDEO Finding a Voice in Science: iBioseminars in Cellular and Molecular Biology Encourages Student Engagement
Kassandra Ori-McKenney and Richard McKenney, assistant professors of molecular and cellular biology, are spearheading a new iteration of MCB 110Y: “iBioseminars in Cellular and Molecular Biology,” a course that combines at-home video lectures, produced by iBiology, with discussion-based classes.
The Infection Heist: How Social Viruses Team Up for the Perfect Score
The safe-cracker, the inside man, the getaway driver. Each member plays a key role in a bank heist. This metaphor helps explain how different viruses interact to co-infect cells.

In competitive environments, viruses can collaborate for their share of the "score" of successful co-infection. But these relationships may change once inside the host cell, according to Samuel Díaz-Muñoz​, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.
The Repellence Cocktail: Mosquito Sense of Smell Reveals More Mysteries
While we know certain plant-derived compounds act as insect repellents, much of the molecular science behind insect olfaction remains a mystery.
In a study published in iScience, Professor Walter Leal and UC Davis colleagues exposed further layers of complexity in the mosquito olfactory system.
Student Ventures Win Financial Support
Two student groups at UC Davis have each won competitive $5000 awards through the VentureWell Foundation’s Stage 1 E-Team program. These awards help early-stage innovators create ventures and provide training that helps students explore ways to bring their solutions to market.
Discovering Curiosity
Explore how a passion for science propelled our faculty on the path to research
Professor Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, Department of Plant Biology, grew up in Bhadravathi, India. As a kid, he routinely spent time with his father, a high school teacher, on their farm in a nearby village. They grew rice and sugarcane, harvesting the latter crop by night when its sugar content was optimal.

Since I was on the farm, I was always interested in plants, especially why farmers grow so many varieties of rice.”
-Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar

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