Figure 1. Scientists from UCLA controlled expression of genes Drp1 and Atg1 in fruit flies to promote breakdown and removal of damaged mitochondria.

Controlling Mitochondria to Stop the Clocks

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 The respiratory function of the mitochondrion, the energy producing organelle found in the cell, can decline over time. This is because of how the mitochondrion enlarge and assume a more elongated shape. Typically, that mitochondrion will eventually break down and get removed processes called mitochondrial fission and mitophagy respectively. Accumulation of the ineffective mitochondria and inability to remove them are major … Continue reading Controlling Mitochondria to Stop the Clocks

Glucose Transportation

      By: Richard Liang 18’  Insulin is an important signaling factor in glucose uptake, acting in concert with glucose transporter GLUT4 to transport glucose into skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. In the presence of insulin, GLUT4 is translocated to the plasma membrane where an exocyst complex tethers the GLUT4 to the membrane, a process that requires G protein RalA to bind to the … Continue reading Glucose Transportation

Using SIRT1 Activators to Treat Tuberculosis

    By: Richard Liang 18’ Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that can remain dormant for many years. Currently, treatment options are limited by Mycobacterium tuberculosis’s ability evade the immune system and mutate into drug-resistant strains. Outbreaks are a more pressing concern in developing countries, where health care is less accessible. In a recent study led by Catherine Y. Cheng from the Singapore … Continue reading Using SIRT1 Activators to Treat Tuberculosis

The Importance of Synthetic Core Promoters in Yeast Fine-Tuning Expression

    By Caleb Sooknanan ‘20 In genetic engineering, metabolic pathways and genetic circuits can be manipulated in microbes to produce chemicals or activate certain functions. To do this, gene expression must be fine-tuned to balance and optimize protein levels of metabolic enzymes or regulators.  Manipulating these in unicellular eukaryotes often involves core promoter sequences, the minimal portion of the promoter required to initiate DNA … Continue reading The Importance of Synthetic Core Promoters in Yeast Fine-Tuning Expression

Relearn Faster and Retain Longer

    By Ericka Berman As established, repetitive practice is necessary for knowledge retention. Sleep is also a contributing factor to new learning and memory consolidation. In this study, Dr. Mazza and the team of researchers recruited 40 participants ages 18-29 from University of Lyon, who were randomly assigned to one of two groups. For this study, participants were asked to remember 16 Swahili-French words pairs. … Continue reading Relearn Faster and Retain Longer

Figure 1. Mammalian brains can be influenced by non-genetic and Allele-Specific expression

Sending Your Grandparents to University Increases Cognitive Reserve: The Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project

By Ericka Berman   One way to decrease the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease is by increasing cognitive reserves (CR). Research supports the idea that education, intelligence, and cognitively stimulating activities modify the risk for dementia. CR is a theoretical construct, so it is measured indirectly. Dr. Megan Lenehan and her team of researchers used data from 459 participants ages 50-79 from the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project … Continue reading Sending Your Grandparents to University Increases Cognitive Reserve: The Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project

Creating Birds of Similar Feathers: Leveraging Similarity to Improve Teacher-Student Relationships and Academic Achievement

By Ericka Berman   Having thriving student-teacher relationships (TSR) is important in academic success. In studying the improvement of TSR, schooling, positive youth development, and social motivation are of great interest to researchers. Dr. Hunter Gehlbach and his team of researchers carried out this study using a sample of 315 ninth graders and 25 teachers from a high school in the southwestern United States. Students were … Continue reading Creating Birds of Similar Feathers: Leveraging Similarity to Improve Teacher-Student Relationships and Academic Achievement

Figure 1. Mammalian brains can be influenced by non-genetic and Allele-Specific expression

Mammalian Brain Affected by Non-Genetic and Allele-Specific Expression

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 The brain is a complex organ that is constantly being impacted by genetic and epigenetic factors. Mental illness patients are usually heterozygous in terms of inheriting one mutant allele. The random inactivation of the X-chromosome and genomic imprinting influences brain architecture and risk of disease. Studies on neuropsychiatric disorders uncovered a spectrum of data regarding the epigenetic dynamics of such dysfunction. … Continue reading Mammalian Brain Affected by Non-Genetic and Allele-Specific Expression

Norepinephrine Transporter in Major Depressive Disorder: A PET Study

    Ericka Berman Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a debilitating illness characterized by low mood and loss of interest in activities. In MDD, the neurotransmitter norepinephrine is believed to be dysregulated, contributing to the depressive symptoms. The goal of this study was to test norepinephrine transporter availability in patients with MDD in attempt to identify potential associations with clinical symptoms. Previous studies have looked … Continue reading Norepinephrine Transporter in Major Depressive Disorder: A PET Study

Enzyme in Soil Bacteria Inhibits Biofilm Formation

      Patrick Yang ‘20 Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a multidrug resistant bacterium responsible for serious medical illnesses, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and cystic fibrosis. The bacterium produces a metabolite called pyocyanin, which largely contributes towards the pathogen’s toxicity. A recent discovery found that pyocyanin also aids in the aggregation of bacteria to form biofilm. Biofilm, a community of microorganisms that is resistant to conventional … Continue reading Enzyme in Soil Bacteria Inhibits Biofilm Formation