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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…