Boosting a single molecule in the brain can change “dispositional anxiety,” the tendency to perceive many situations as threatening, in nonhuman primates, researchers from UC Davis, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found. The molecule, neurotrophin-3, stimulates neurons to grow and make new connections. The finding provides hope for new strategies focused on intervening early in life to treat people at risk for anxiety disorders, depression and related substance abuse. Current treatments work for only a subset of people and often only partially relieve symptoms.
In recognition of his accomplishments in analyzing the chemistry of comets and advancing scientists of color, William M. Jackson, Jr., distinguished professor emeritus of chemistry in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, will receive the 2019 Arthur B.C. Walker II Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP).
Technologies developed at UC Davis enabled the foundation of 14 startup companies during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. Two of the startups were founded by faculty in the College of Letters and Science.
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the moon and Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface. The moon rocks brought back to Earth launched a new era of research about the moon’s origin. Fifty years later, researchers at the UC Davis College of Letters and Science continue to discover new aspects of the moon’s formation that further our understanding of the solar system. Here are some highlights of their research.
Chemistry professor William H. Casey is one of 70 new fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The ACS Fellows Program recognizes outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the society. The 2019 ACS Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony during the ACS National Meeting and Expo in San Diego on Aug. 26.
A lot of brain power is concentrating at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain for a July 15–24 “boot camp” on researching human brain activity. The annual ERP Boot Camp brings 35 emerging and established scientists from around the world to learn from leading experts how to best record “event-related potentials (ERPs),” the electrical signals generated in the brain in response to events like a spoken word or an image on a computer screen.
As our solar system was forming nearly four and a half billion years ago, a planet-sized object struck the early Earth, leading to the formation of the moon, possibly from a hot, spinning cloud of rock vapor called a synestia. But after the Earth and moon had condensed from the vapor, there was another phase of growth as meteorites crashed into both bodies.
Venture from the tiniest subatomic particles to the grand scale of the galaxies and step inside the biggest machine ever built in Secrets of the Universe, a new IMAX movie. Secrets of the Universe will have its global premiere at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on July 10.