News

Mary Baum, Amitabh Ghoshal, Daniel G. DeMartini and Daniel E. Morse Credit: George Foulsham
Jul 25, 2013

Color in living organisms can be formed two ways: pigmentation or anatomical structure. Structural colors arise from the physical interaction of light with biological nanostructures. A wide range of organisms possess this ability, but the biological mechanisms underlying the process have been poorly understood. Now, the group of MCDB professor Dan Morse has delved deeper to uncover the mechanism responsible for the dramatic changes in color used by such creatures as squids and octopuses. The findings - published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science - are featured in the current issue of The Scientist.

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Kenneth S. Kosik
Jun 26, 2013

Building on research published eight years ago in the journal Chemistry and Biology, MCDB faculty member Kenneth S. Kosik, and his team have now applied their findings to two distinct, well-known mouse models, demonstrating a new potential target in the fight against Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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Jun 20, 2013

The journal "Neuron" is celebrating it's 25th anniversary, and selected one paper for each year to highlight. They selected Craig Montell's 1989 paper, which reported the first TRP channel, as the 1989 paper of the year.

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Craig Montell in his UCSB lab.
Jun 13, 2013

Next time you see a fruit fly in your kitchen, don't swat it. That fly could have a major impact on our progress in deciphering sensory biology and animal behavior, including someday providing a better understanding of the human brain.

UC Santa Barbara researchers in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) have been studying the mechanisms underlying salt taste coding of Drosophila (fruit flies). And they have made some rather remarkable discoveries. Their findings appear today in the journal Science.

Graduate Student Appreciation, Ice Cream Social and Reception
May 21, 2013

The MCDB and BMSE Graduate Programs honored students in the two programs during UCSB’s Graduate Student Appreciation week with an Ice Cream Social and Reception.

Misty Riddle
May 21, 2013

The UCSB Graduate Division has named MCDB PhD graduate student Misty Riddle as the recipient of the 2013 Lancaster Dissertation Award in the field of Biological and Life Sciences. This award recognizes the best PhD thesis in a given discipline. She will be presented with the award at the upcoming Graduation Ceremony. Misty will also be UCSB’s entrant in the national competition sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools.

Erik Spickard
May 3, 2013

Congratulations to three outstanding incoming PhD graduate students for receiving prestigious awards that will support part of their stipend and tuition expenses in their first year of graduate school. They are Sonya Donato (from UCSD) and Erick Spikard (from UC Davis) in the MCDB graduate program and Dan Nguyen (from Harvard) in the BMSE graduate program.

David Low
Apr 26, 2013

MCDB professor David Low is one of eighty-seven microbiologists who have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2013. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Denise Montell Credit: George Foulsham
Apr 22, 2013

Understanding exactly how stem cells form into specific organs and tissues is the holy grail of regenerative medicine. Now, MCDB faculty member Denise Montell and colleagues have added to that body of knowledge by determining how stem cells produce different types of "daughter" cells in Drosophila (fruit flies). The findings appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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Eileen Hamilton, Michael Lawson, and Eduardo Orias Credit: George Foulsham
Mar 27, 2013

By identifying Tetrahymena's long-unknown mating-type genes, a team of UC Santa Barbara biologists led by Professor Eduardo Orias, with research colleagues at the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and at the J. Craig Venter Institute, uncovered the unusual process of DNA rearrangements required for sex determination in this organism. The discovery has potential human health implications ranging from tissue transplantation to cancer treatment, including allorecognition –– the ability of an organism to distinguish its own tissues from those of another –– which can be a first line of defense against infection and illness. The findings were published in the journal PLOS Biology.

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