Ecological Dynamics of Coastal Plants, Birds, and Herbivores

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 In a recent paper, scientists from the University of Irvine examined the resistance of shrub plants to herbivory, as enabled by plant morphology or the presence of avian species. The scientists studied both direct and indirect defenses in nature and assessed these mechanisms in the context of energetic trade-offs. Characteristics that were already known to directly lower the success rate of herbivory … Continue reading Ecological Dynamics of Coastal Plants, Birds, and Herbivores

Arsenic and Copper May Affect Reproductive Health in Chickens

By Matthew Lee ‘21 Arsenic and copper are trace elements that can have deleterious health effects when present in the body in large quantities. Their toxicity in certain body parts such as the liver, nervous system, and lungs is well documented. However, the effects of arsenic and copper on testicular tissues are not as studied. A recent study led by Yizhi Shao of Northeast Forestry … Continue reading Arsenic and Copper May Affect Reproductive Health in Chickens

Figure 1. Brood of chickens frolicking in a pen house

Fighting the Avian Leukosis Virus through Genome Modification

By Matthew Lee ’21 The avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) has plagued the poultry industry since being recognized about 30 years ago. The economic hardships caused by decreases in poultry yield makes developing resistance mechanisms a topic of interest. Recently, a team led by Hong Jo Lee from Seoul National University decided to take the novel approach of editing the chicken genome in order … Continue reading Fighting the Avian Leukosis Virus through Genome Modification