Archive for October, 2011

UC Davis gets a new Genome Center in Sac in collaboration with BGI

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Read about it here.

Categories: UC Davis

Translational Science Seminar – Dan Michael Cooper, M.D. – November 4, 2011, 2:00 PM – GBSF

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Categories: Seminar Announcements

Longevity epigenetic inheritance in C. elegans

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Read the complete article via the theguardian by Ed Yong.

C. elegans

Photograph: PA

“Long-lived worms can transmit their extended lifespan to the next generation by passing on changes in the way their genes are used, rather than differences in DNA itself.

A study has shown that nematode worms can inherit a ‘memory of longevity from their parents, even though their genome remains unchanged.

It is not clear if the same processes apply to humans, but Anne Brunet from Stanford University, who led the study, noted that some genes that affect the lifespan of nematodes were later found to influence human longevity too. ‘In several cases, the worm has proved to be a good model for humans, who live 2,000 times longer,’ she said…”

Original manuscript can be found here published in Nature.

Categories: Interesting link

Cancer resistance to DNA damage-inducing treatments

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Research led by UC Davis’ Professor Wolf-Dietrich Heyer discovered how recombination reverses itself which enables cancer cells to become resistant to radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

“An international team of scientists led by UC Davis researchers has discovered that DNA repair in cancer cells is not a one-way street as previously believed. Their findings show instead that recombination, an important DNA repair process, has a self-correcting mechanism that allows DNA to make a virtual u-turn and start over.

The study’s findings, which appear in the Oct. 23 online issue of the journal Nature, not only contribute new understanding to the field of basic cancer biology, but also have important implications for potentially improving the efficacy of cancer treatments.

‘What we discovered is that the DNA repair pathway called recombination is able to reverse itself,’ said Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, UC Davis professor of microbiology and of molecular and cellular biology and co-leader of Molecular Oncology at UC Davis Cancer Center. ‘That makes it a very robust process, allowing cancer cells to deal with DNA damage in many different ways. This repair mechanism may have something to do with why some cancer cells become resistant to radiation and chemotherapy treatments that work by inducing DNA damage.'”

Read the rest of the article from the UC Davis Health System.
The original manuscript can be found here via Nature.

Four inch single cell amoebas

October 27, 2011 1 comment

Where? In the depths of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of our world’s oceans. These amoebas (Xenophyophores) were discovered by researchers at the Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Check them out in this brief clip. At this depth and pressure, these organisms are surviving in one of the most uninhabitable places on Earth.

Here’s a close up of the Xenophyophores found in the Galapagos Rift:

Photo by: NOAA.

Related articles at Scripps News and

Categories: Interesting link

Epigenetics: money and methylation

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

DNA may now carry a memory of your upbringing:

“Family living conditions in childhood are associated with significant effects in DNA that persist well into middle age, according to new research by Canadian and British scientists.

The team, based at McGill University in Montreal, University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the UCL Institute of Child Health in London looked for gene methylation associated with social and economic factors in early life. They found clear differences in gene methylation between those brought up in families with very high and very low standards of living. More than twice as many methylation differences were associated with the combined effect of the wealth, housing conditions and occupation of parents (that is, early upbringing) than were associated with the current socio-economic circumstances in adulthood. (1252 differences as opposed to 545)…”

Read the complete blog article at
Original manuscript published here in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Categories: Interesting link

Alex Wild – Biologist and photographer is coming to UC Davis

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

How To Take Better Insect Photographs

Alex Wild
12:10 – 1:00 pm October 26, 2011
122 Briggs Hall
University of California at Davis

cost: free

For more info: go to his blog Myrmecos and/or follow him on Twitter.