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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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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…

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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.

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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.

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Unraveling Controls for Plant Root Growth
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Study Casts Doubt on Mammoth-killing Cosmic Impact
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