biochemistry

PsychLight Sensor to Enable Discovery of New Psychiatric Drugs

April 28, 2021
A genetically encoded fluorescent sensor to detect hallucinogenic compounds has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis. Named psychLight, the sensor could be used in discovering new treatments for mental illness, in neuroscience research and to detect drugs of abuse.

A New Natural Blue for Food Coloring

April 07, 2021
A natural brilliant blue coloring has been discovered by an international team of researchers including chemists at the University of California, Davis.

Synthetic Version of CBD Treats Seizures in Rats

May 28, 2019
A synthetic, non-intoxicating analogue of cannabidiol (CBD) is effective in treating seizures in rats, according to research by chemists at the University of California, Davis. The synthetic CBD alternative is easier to purify than a plant extract, eliminates the need to use agricultural land for hemp cultivation, and could avoid legal complications with cannabis-related products.

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. 

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. 

Psychedelic Microdosing in Rats Shows Beneficial Effects

March 04, 2019
The growing popularity of microdosing — taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to boost mood and mental acuity — is based on anecdotal reports of its benefits. Now, a study in rats by researchers at the University of California, Davis, suggests microdosing can provide relief for symptoms of depression and anxiety, but also found potential negative effects.

Psychedelic Drugs Change Structure of Neurons

June 12, 2018
A team of scientists at the University of California, Davis, is exploring how hallucinogenic drugs impact the structure and function of neurons — research that could lead to new treatments for depression, anxiety and related disorders.