Displaying 1 - 21 of 21

Identifying the Causal Genetic Basis of an Adaptive Trait in Two Diverged Yeast Species through a Novel Mapping Approach (RH-seq)

Faisal AlZaben : Molecular and Cell Biology - Genetics, Genomics, and Development Summer 2019

Finding the causal genetic basis of a complex trait is a challenge of biology. Current methods, such as GWAS and QTL analysis, can identify associations between variants and phenotypes, but this is limited to analysis within the species being investigated and not species-wide traits. Through a novel approach named RH-seq (reciprocal hemizygosity analysis via sequencing... Read More

Actuating a Spherical Tensegrity Robot using Momentum Wheels

Antonia Bronars : Mechanical Engineering Summer 2019

Traditional robots are often ineffective in environments with rough and uncharted terrain. For this reason, robots are underutilized for applications like disaster relief, HazMat, CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) response, and space exploration. The Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrity (BEST) Lab is developing a “tensegrity” soft robot,... Read More

Amino Acid Sensing In The TOR Pathway Of Plants

Cindy Chau : Molecular and Environmental Biology Summer 2019

The presence of nutrients such as amino acids, glucose, or nitrogen and varying growth factors is hypothesized to activate the target of rapamycin (TOR) which initiates eukaryotic cell growth, development, and metabolism. Although TOR is extremely significant to plant cells’ growth and metabolism, little is still understood about TOR signaling within plants. As such,... Read More

Transcriptional Changes During Experience-Dependent Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex

Sanika Ganesh : Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology Summer 2019

Neuroplasticity describes how the brain learns from experience. A proposed type of plasticity, rapid homeostasis, may be necessary for stabilizing activity on a short-time scale across primary sensory-processing regions of the brain. A class of inhibitory neurons known as parvalbumin (PV) neurons are thought to implement rapid homeostatic plasticity, but the field... Read More

Investigation of the GSTM Gene Family in Humans and Apes

Alma Halgren : Bioengineering, Computer Science Summer 2019

Glutathione S-transferase Mu 1, or GSTM1, is a gene found in humans and apes that makes toxins easier to metabolize by the body. GSTM1 is extraordinary because it is one of only two genes that has been deleted independently in both humans and apes through evolutionary time, but is still present in some individuals. Over half of the world population does not carry the... Read More

Exploring Pubertal Effects on Dopamine Release Dynamics During Learning and Decision-Making

Christopher Hall : MCB: Neurobiology Summer 2019

Adolescence has been defined as a transitional period characterized by physical, cognitive, and socioemotional changes while the brain goes through a parallel process of circuit refinement. It is also a window of vulnerability for the development of disorders like schizophrenia and addiction. However, our understanding of the role of puberty, and the coincident surge... Read More

Development of a Human Thymic Epithelial Co-Culture to Enhance T Cell Maturation

Tiffany Hangse : MCB, Human Rights Summer 2019

Robust conventional T cell development in vitro remains challenging without the thymic microenvironment. Within this organ are two subsets of highly specialized thymic epithelial cells: cTECs and mTECs. Both arise from a common bipotent progenitor whose differentiation is regulated by the forkhead box transcription factor, FOXN1. FOXN1 also mediates TEC-thymocyte... Read More

Antibody Conjugation to Carborane Dendrimers for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Andrew Hong : Chemistry Summer 2019

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers nationwide, due to the dearth of effective treatment options. While KRAS oncogenic mutations are ubiquitous in pancreatic cancer, there is no anti-KRAS therapeutic for routine clinical use. One promising alternative may be boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), which entails the irradiation of internalized boron atoms in... Read More

Investigating Changes in Gene Expression that Affect Heart Rate During Pregnancy

Catherine Jung : MEB Summer 2019

In normal pregnancies, cardiac output increases to accommodate increased metabolic demand. The fundamental mechanisms connecting changes in hormones to changes in gene expression in pacemaker cells are unknown. Understanding what increases heart rate in pregnancies could provide insight on preventing cardiovascular complications in pregnancies, and shed light on how... Read More

Estimating Integrated Information from Non-Gaussian Multivariate Time Series

Helen Kang : MCB-Neurobiology and Mathematics Summer 2019

Information theory has been key to our understanding of the brain, by elucidating mechanisms of neural coding in the brain’s sensory periphery. Recent mathematical work has derived a new measure called integrated information, which can quantify how much information emerges at the level of an entire network. Integrated information has already been used to study how the... Read More

Investigating the Immunological Effects of STING Pathway Activators in Spontaneous Tumor Models

Joy Li : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2019

One of the major hallmarks of cancer is the evasion of the immune system; thus, current cancer immunotherapies aim to modify the host immune system to specifically target tumor cells and repress tumor progression. Recent studies have investigated an immune pathway called the cGAS-Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) that is involved in the induction of an anti-tumor... Read More

Understanding the Genetic Regulation and Evolution of Heart Rate

Ravi Mandla : MCB Summer 2019

The main goal of my project is to understand, genetically, how differences in heart rate have evolved such that large mammals have slower heart rates than smaller mammals. So far, I have found strong evidence that the activity of the pacemaker ion channel HCN4 in the sinoatrial node (SAN, the heart’s natural pacemaker), correlates with the resting heart rate of... Read More

Competition Between Soil Methanogenesis and Iron Reduction Under Discrete Temperature and Redox Conditions

Nikhil R Chari : Chemical Biology Summer 2019

This research project will investigate the effects of redox conditions on temperature sensitivity of soil methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) respiration. Temperature and rainfall regimes are changing with climate change, which can create fluctuating redox dynamics in humid environments such as tropical forests and wetlands. This has global implications for... Read More

3D Reconstruction of a Vocal Learning Neural Pathway in Rousettus Aegyptiacus

Ashley Rakuljic : Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology Summer 2019

Vocal learning is a phenomenon specific to only certain species of animals, most notably humans. Vocal learning is the ability for an organism to use auditory feedback to produce vocalizations via imitation and modification of sounds from another organism. It is a unique type of learning that once understood in humans can provide valuable insight into how to help those... Read More

Exploring the Genetic Factors Contributing to Resistance and Susceptibility of Listeria Monocytogenes to Phagosome-Mediated Killing

Elise Rio : Molecular Environmental Biology, Global Studies, Anthropology and Minor in Global Public Health Summer 2019

Listeria monocytogenes is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes disease in immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women. Its life cycle is well characterized. The pathogen enters phagocytes of the immune system, including macrophages and dendritic cells. As seen from in vitro studies using macrophages, upon entry into phagocytes L. monocytogenes escapes... Read More

The Role of Medullary GABAergic Neurons in Controlling Sleep

Mohammad Saffari Doost : Integrative Biology Summer 2019

Because sleep makes up one-third of our lifespan, it is important to study its mechanisms so we can better understand its components and learn ways to curb consequences (e.g., cardiovascular disease and psychological disorders) related to insufficient or low-quality sleep. In mammals, sleep alternates between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. These... Read More

Genome-Scale Fitness Profiling of Ralstonia Solancearum in Xylem Sap

Katie Shalvarjian : Microbial Biology Summer 2019

Ralstonia solanacearum is a unique vascular plant pathogen that thrives in xylem sap. As a nutrient-poor but chemically complex environment, xylem sap provides distinct obstacles to bacterial growth, yet little is known about R. solanacearum within the framework of genome-wide fitness. Using a randomly barcoded transposon site sequencing (RB-TnSeq) mutant library, we... Read More

Investigating the Role of YY1 in Transcription Regulation

Elena Slobodyanyuk : Molecular and Cell Biology Summer 2019

The physical organization of chromatin in the nucleus plays a crucial role in the coordination and regulation of gene expression. Long-distance interactions between DNA regulatory elements called enhancers and promoters are important for establishing cell type-specific gene expression programs. Dysregulation of enhancer-promoter interactions can lead to aberrant gene... Read More

CRISPR-Mediated Genetic Diversification in Yeast

Connor Tou : Bioengineering Summer 2019

Directed evolution takes advantage of repeated Darwinian cycles of genetic diversification and artificial selection to engineer novel biomolecular and cellular function. In the wet-lab, its success and extent is heavily dictated by the size of the genetic library that can be synthesized and transformed, in combination with labor, cost, and time. Therefore, traditional... Read More

Copper Catalyzed SN2’ Functionalization of Fluoroalkylated Alkenes

Jonathan Yang : Chemistry Summer 2019

The introduction of fluorinated moieties into pharmaceuticals can often predictably improve the lipophilicity, metabolic stability, and the conformation of drugs. A fluorinated functional group of interest is the (Z)-fluoroalkene, a non-hydrolyzable isostere for peptide bonds. Many methods used to prepare fluoroalkenes, including Wittig-type olefinations, Shapiro... Read More

Exploring the Role of Gustatory Sensory Neurons in Mating Status Dependent Nutrient Consumption in Drosophila

Emily Ye : MCB: Genetic, Genomics, and Development Summer 2019

In invertebrates and humans alike, the nervous system fundamentally serves to detect sensory inputs and generate appropriate behavioral outputs. However, despite its ubiquity, our understanding of how this phenomenon occurs at the level of single neurons is far from complete. In the insect model Drosophila melanogaster, previous studies have provided some insight into... Read More