biochemistry

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.

College of Letters and Science Undergraduate Publishes Cutting-Edge Research

June 12, 2018
Alexandra Greb, a UC Davis senior in pharmaceutical chemistry from Danville, California, is a co-author on a new study exploring how hallucinogenic drugs affect the structure and function of neurons. The research could lead to new treatments for depression, anxiety and related disorders.

New X-ray Spectroscopy Explores Hydrogen-generating Catalyst

November 21, 2017
Using a newly developed technique, researchers from Japan, Germany and UC Davis have identified a key step in production of hydrogen gas by a bacterial enzyme. Understanding these reactions could be important in developing a clean-fuel economy powered by hydrogen.

Parallel Projects Bring Chemistry to the Arboretum

December 02, 2016
Nhu Nguyen (B.S., chemistry, ’12), an artist and doctoral student in chemistry, is the mastermind behind a recent exhibit in the UC Davis Arboretum called Walking in the Woods with Chemistry.

Sweet Smell of Sustainability: Renewable Sources for Artificial Scents

March 10, 2014
Fresh banana, a waft of flowers, blueberry: the scents in Shota Atsumi's laboratory in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry are a little sweeter than most. That's because Atsumi and his team are engineering bacteria to make esters -- molecules widely used as scents and flavorings, and also as basic feedstock for chemical processes from paints to fuels.

Sloan Fellowship for Designer Enzymes

February 18, 2014
Justin Siegel, a biochemist who uses computers to develop new "designer enzymes" with properties not found in nature, has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship to support his work.