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Sex, Tools And Chromosomes

Published: April 12, 2012.
Released by University of California - Davis  

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a key tool that helps sperm and eggs develop exactly 23 chromosomes each. The work, which could lead to insights into fertility, spontaneous miscarriages, cancer and developmental disorders, is published April 13 in the journal Cell.


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medicine
Milk Protein Comparison Unveils Nutritional Gems for Developing Babies
Human babies appear to need more of a nutritional boost from breast-milk proteins than do infants of one of their closest primate relatives, suggests a study comparing human milk with the milk of rhesus macaque monkeys. The research team, led by the University of California, Davis, came to this conclusion after developing a new technique for comparing the proteome -- all detectable proteins -- of human milk with the proteome of the rhesus macaque monkey.

medicine
Tobacco-smoking Moms And Dads Increase Diabetes Risk for Children in Utero
Children exposed to tobacco smoke from their parents while in the womb are predisposed to developing diabetes as adults, according to a study from the University of California, Davis and the Berkeley nonprofit Public Health Institute.

nature
Smothered Oceans
Seafloor sediment cores reveal abrupt, extensive loss of oxygen in the ocean when ice sheets melted roughly 10,000-17,000 years ago, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The findings provide insight into similar changes observed in the ocean today.

biology
Engineering Self-assembling Amyloid Fibers
Nature has many examples of self-assembly, and bioengineers are interested in copying or manipulating these systems to create useful new materials or devices. Amyloid proteins, for example, can self-assemble into the tangled plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease -- but similar proteins can also form very useful materials, such as spider silk, or biofilms around living cells. Researchers at UC Davis and Rice University have now come up with methods to manipulate natural proteins so that they self-assemble into amyloid fibrils. The paper is…

medicine
Hybrid 'Super Mosquito' Resistant to Insecticide-treated Bed Nets
Interbreeding of two malaria mosquito species in the West African country of Mali has resulted in a "super mosquito" hybrid that's resistant to insecticide-treated bed nets. "It's 'super' with respect to its ability to survive exposure to the insecticides on treated bed nets," said medical entomologist Gregory Lanzaro of UC Davis, who led the research team.

nature
Ancient Maize Followed Two Paths into the Southwest
After it was first domesticated from the wild teosinte grass in southern Mexico, maize, or corn, took both a high road and a coastal low road as it moved into what is now the U.S. Southwest, reports an international research team that includes a UC Davis plant scientist and maize expert.

biology
Unraveling Controls for Plant Root Growth
Green shoots are a sign of spring, but growing those shoots and roots is a complicated process. Now researchers at UC Davis and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have for the first time described part of the network of genetic controls that allows a plant to grow.

nature
Study Casts Doubt on Mammoth-killing Cosmic Impact
Rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago, according to new research from the University of California, Davis. The study, of soil from Syria, is the latest to discredit the controversial theory that a cosmic impact triggered the Younger Dryas cold period.

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