Figure 1: The RNA Polymerase II molecule is an important enzyme involved in the transcription process of DNA to mRNA.

Circular RNAs Have Protein Coding Potential

Gene Yang ‘19 Although the RNA molecules involved in protein synthesis have been extensively studied, other novel types of RNA are still relatively unknown and continue being researched. One such novel type of RNA is circular RNA (circRNA), an endogenous and diverse class of molecules that is present in most eukaryotic cells. Circular RNAs are…

Figure 1. Downtown Manhattan, New York City, where high population density makes infectious disease spread easily.

Predicting Flu With Mobility Behaviors

Gene Yang ‘19 In the mathematical modeling of infectious disease, determining the mobility of infectious diseases as well as the mobility patterns of individuals in a population is crucial to predicting the spatial and temporal diffusion of such illnesses. Researchers from the University of Trento gathered two types of data, mobility data and self-reported health…

Shrinking Salt Lakes

Gene Yang ‘19 Representing nearly half of the volume and a quarter of the area of all lakes in the world, saline lakes are a significant part of the regional ecosystem. However, as a result of human consumptive water use from these lakes in recent decades, many large saline lakes have been desiccating at a…

Figure 1: The poison frog, Ameerega bassleri, is one of the three studied lineages of frogs that evolved resistance to epibatidine, a toxin lethal in microgram-doses.

Poison Frogs: Evolution of Epibatidine Resistance

Gene Yang ‘19 Animals that use toxins as anti-predator defense usually evolve a method of resistance, often at a high physiological cost, to prevent self-intoxication. Poisonous frogs, a broad polyphyletic group within the order Anura, often use one such method known as target site insensitivity, which is the alteration of the molecular target of the…

Figure 1. Biologists find visual impairments in a kiwi population that lead them to believe that vision is unrelated to kiwi survival.

Free-Living Blind Bird Population Observed for the First Time

Gene Yang ‘19 Researchers of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with New Zealand ornithologists, have observed multiple blind, healthy birds existing in a free-living avian population. These organisms from the genus Apteryx, commonly known as kiwis, are flightless birds native to New Zealand. Although kiwis are predominantly nocturnal, unlike most nocturnal bird…