Science Blog Posts

Brain Molecule Identified as Key in Anxiety Model

August 15, 2019
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. 

New Mineral Named for Alexandra Navrotsky

July 24, 2019
Navrotskyite, a uranium-bearing mineral found underground in Utah’s Blue Lizard mine, was named for Distinguished Professor Alexandra Navrotsky.

William Jackson Honored for Research and Mentoring

July 24, 2019
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).

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

July 19, 2019
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.

William Casey Elected Fellow of American Chemical Society

July 16, 2019

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.

Bright Minds of Brain Science Gather for ‘ERP Boot Camp’

July 15, 2019
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.

Modeling Early Meteorite Impacts on the Moon

July 11, 2019
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.

Explore Secrets of the Universe With UC Davis Physicist in Spectacular IMAX Movie

July 05, 2019
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. 

Complexity Sciences Center Wins High-Performance Computing Award

July 05, 2019
The UC Davis Complexity Sciences Center was recognized for its achievements in high-performance computing technologies with an HPC Innovation Excellence Award from Hyperion Research. The award was announced June 18 at the ISC19 supercomputer industry conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

Clay cache found on Mars

May 30, 2019

Since landing in 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover has been collecting data about the geology and chemistry of the Martian surface. As a member of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, geology professor Dawn Sumner helps plan the route Curiosity takes as it explore ancient environments in Gale Crater. 

Metals Influence C-peptide Hormone Related to Insulin

May 17, 2019

Metals such as zinc, copper and chromium bind to and influence a peptide involved in insulin production, according to new work from chemists at the University of California, Davis. The research is part of a new field of “metalloendocrinology” that takes a detailed look at the role of metals in biological processes in the body. 

Lassen Is UC Davis’ Newest Natural Reserve

May 17, 2019

With a terrain covering volcanoes, steaming fumaroles and forestlands, the Lassen Field Station is the newest addition to the University of California, Davis’ Natural Reserve System. The partnership offers researchers access to a variety of park facilities such as cabins, classroom space and camping. The reserve will streamline the research permit process and open new avenues for research, teaching and public outreach.

UC Davis Chemist Marie Heffern Wins Hartwell Foundation Award

May 17, 2019

Although trace metals such as copper, zinc and cobalt play a pivotal role in human health, not much is known about how the body uses these elements. A better understanding of the role and influence of metals could lead to new biomarkers and diagnostic tests for metabolic disorders such as diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), says UC Davis professor Marie Heffern, who specializes in bioinorganic chemistry.