Archive for October, 2011

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.


Participate: Future of Graduate Education Forum

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

University of California, Davis
Graduate Education Task Force

Public Forum on the Future of Graduate Education at UC Davis October 28th

The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, in partnership with the Chair and Executive Committee of the Academic Senate have appointed the Graduate Education Task Force to inform the vision for graduate education at UC Davis.
Because graduate education is fundamental to our mission and identity as a top research university, we are developing a vision of excellence to guide our strategy. Your input is needed to imagine how graduate education promotes excellence for UC Davis, for graduate students and for faculty.

Be a part of the conversation on October 28th when the Graduate Education Task Force hosts a public forum at the UC Davis Conference Center with the following panel of visiting experts:
Joel Michaelsen, Professor, Department of Geography, Chair Academic Senate 2006-2008; 2008 – 2010, UC Santa Barbara
Steve Matson, Dean, The Graduate School; Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Frances Leslie, Dean, Graduate Division; Professor of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, UC Irvine

Date: Friday, October 28
Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Location: UC Davis Conference Center – Ballroom B

The forum is open to anyone who would like to attend. For more information on the work of the task force, please visit: (The Joint Administration/Academic Senate Special Task Force on Graduate Education at UC Davis)

Genome Center Annual Symposium 2012

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Enjoy the UC Davis seminars going on this week!

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Seminars this week…

Monday, October 24th

MAJOR ISSUES IN MODERN BIOLOGY-Qifa Zhang, Professor and Director, National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, October 24th, 2:10pm, 1005 GBSF “Decoding the Rice Functional Genome: Progress and implications for crop genetic improvement”

Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry AGC 290-001- 4:10-6:00, 1 Wellman-

GGG Seminar in Genomics & Epigenetics 4:10 pm 1022 LSA-Francois Roudier, INRA/ENS (France), Functional organization and developmental dynamics of the Arabidopsis epigenome

Tuesday, October 25th

Department of Chemistry 4:00-5:00pm Chem 179- Nouri Neamati, USC

Center for Population Biology (CPB) Seminar Series 4:10 – 5:30PM 1022 Life Sciences Building-Alex Perkins, Graduate Student: Population Biology Graduate Group, UC Davis “Rapid evolution and the spatial spread dynamics of invasive species”

Wednesday, October 26th

Biotechnology Training Seminar 12:10 – 1 PM 1022 Life Sciences (free pizza) (biweekly)-Prof. Kent Pinkerton, Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology & Laura Ho, Pharmacology & Toxicology

Entomology Departmental Seminar ENT 297N- 12:10-1:00 pm, 122 Briggs-Alex Wild, research scholar and insect photographer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (he received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis with major professor Phil Ward), will speak on “How to Take Better Insect Photographs.” Host: Phil Ward, professor of entomology

Epigenomics Focus Group-Coffee at 9:30 am, Talks 10:00 -11:00 am 4202 of GBSF (monthly-every 3rd Wednesday)

Food Science & Technology Seminar 4:10 – 5:00 pm, Room 1207, RMI South Sensory Theater (occasionally has snacks)-Robert McGorrin, Oregon State University, Food Science & Technology. Flavor Analysis Linked to Chemosensory Impact

Geography Seminar Series (Geo 297),What’s Space Got to do with it? 4:10-5:30pm Hoagland 113 (refreshments!)-Diana Davis, Associate Professor in the Department of History, UC Davis. Topic:Environmental History. Presentation title: “The Terrors of the Desert Sublime: Environmental History for a Sustainable Future in Arid Lands.”

MIC 291 Seminar Series 4:10-5:30 PM 1022 Life Sciences Building-Neil Hunter

Plant Sciences Departmental Seminar 12pm-1pm PES 3001-Ken Shackel: “What X-rays are telling us about xylem structure and function”

Thursday, October 27th

Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series 4:10-5:30 p.m 1001 Giedt Hall-Deborah Roach “Uncovering the Effects of Age, Genotype, and Environment on Plant Life History”

MCB Joint Seminar Series 4:10pm 1022 LSA (snacks)-Jonathan Weissman,  Dept. of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, HHMI/UC San Francisco, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, LSA 1022

Postharvest Biology Seminar(PBI 293) 12:10pm 163 Olson-Attend Plant Sciences physiologist recruitment seminar

Department of Statistics Seminars 4:10 – 5:30pm, Colloquium Room 1147 Mathematical Sciences (Refreshments at 3.30pm in Statistics Lounge, 4110 Mathematical Sciences)-Noureddine El Karoui Dept. Statistics, UC Berkeley

Friday, October 28th

Biotechnology Program Seminar (MCB/ECH 294) 11:00 AM 1022 LSA-Plant Cellular Engineering for Natural Product Synthesis. Susan Roberts, PhD. Associate Professor. Dept. Chemical Engineering, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

Emerging Challenges in Microbiology and Immunology 12:10 1005 GBSF (often has snacks)-TBD

Plant Biology Seminar Series 12:10pm 1022 Life Sciences-Zhiyong Wang (Carnegie) “Brassinosteorid regulation of cell differentiation.” Host, Li Tian (

Viticulture & Enology Seminar 12:10 RMI Silverado Sensory Theater-Douglas Adams “Tannin Extraction and Amino Acids: Port and Bleeding Sap”

Categories: Seminar Announcements


October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey BMCDBers and old school BMBers and CDBers!

First years stressed out about classes and rotations? Second years already worrying about QE’s? Third and Fourth years glad your Fallen Leaf talks are over? Fifth years and beyond ready to get out of Davis? Well let’s all meet up and unwind this Friday at our monthly TGIF! We’ll be having free beer and pizza and the Second years managed to get a donation from Lagunitas Brewing Co. to give to the TGIF events (we’ll have other beers too). Not a fan of beer? We’ll also have plenty of soda, water and we’ll have wine this time to entice the connoisseurs of the group. Even though this is a student run event, faculty and staff are always welcome – and we hope to see you there!

TGIF will be in the LSA Courtyard this Friday, October 21st and we’ll be ready for you at 5:30 PM. We’re going to bring some tunes to the yard this time so we hope you can come by and kick it with everyone!

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The TGIF Committee
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Categories: Social Events

Open Access Week 2011 – Mendeley

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Our Head of Academic Research, William Gunn, will be giving a talk about alternative metrics for research evaluation entitled:
“Beyond the Impact Factor: Getting your research noticed in the algorithmic era”
Date: October 25th
Time: 11AM – 12PM PDT
Location: Shields Library Instruction Room
RSVP: Phoebe Ayers,

Feel free to share this invitation with your friends, colleagues, and students at UC Davis who may be interested.

If you have any questions about Mendeley before this event, please email Andrew Bennie at


UCD screening of “The PHD movie”

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment

As this blog pointed out before, it is possible to get a screening of “The PHD Movie”  at UC Davis.

Now the time has come: the screening of “The PHD Movie!” (Piled Higher and Deeper) is coming to Davis!

Mark the following date on your calendar and make sure not plan any experiments that night.

Nov 8th at 8 pm (20h00) in Chemistry 194 with thanks to UC Davis Graduate Student Association (GSA).


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