The event, free and open to the public and family friendly, is an annual open house focusing on parasitoids.
"An insect parasitoid is a species whose immatures live off of an insect host, often eating it from the inside out," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum. "It is part of their life cycle and the host generally dies."
Among the presentations or topics:
- Bohart Museum senior museum scientist Steve Heydon, a world authority on Pteromalids, or jewel wasps, a group of tiny parasitoids.
- Entomology PhD student Jessica Gillung who researches the Acroceridae family "a remarkable group of endoparasitoids of spiders."
- Diagnostic parasitologist Lauren Camp of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, is an authority on nematodes.
- Family craft activity is a pop-up card, featuring a monarch chrysalis and a fly, suitable for mailing to friends and family during the holiday season.
There are some 3,450 described species of Pteromalids, found throughout the world and in virtually all habitats. Many are important as biological control agents.
Members of the Acroceridae are "rare and elusive flies lay the eggs on the ground or vegetation, and the little larva is in charge of finding itself a suitable host," Gillung said. "Upon finding the host, the larva enters its body and feeds inside until it's mature to come outside and pupate. They eat everything from the spider; nothing is wasted."
Her dissertation involves "the evolution and systematics of Acroceridae, focusing on understanding host usage patterns and trends in morphological variation."
Lauren Camp, who received her doctorate from UC Davis, studying with major professor Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will display a variety of nematodes amd answer questions.
She describes nematodes in one word as "worms" and in expanding, “Nematodes are an amazing phylum of organisms--they exist in almost every known environment on the planet, and different species eat everything from bacteria and fungi to plant and animal tissue."
"I find parasites particularly fascinating, because they are dependent on another organism (or organisms) for part or all of their life cycle," Camp said.
Tachinid flies, which lay their eggs in caterpillars and chrysalids, will be on display, along with the remains of its hosts. It is used as a biological control agent for some pests. But those who rear monarch butterflies consider it their enemy when it lays eggs in their caterpillars and chrysalids.
The late UC Davis entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) researched Strepsiptera, or twisted-wing parasites, for his doctorate in 1938. Both the Bohart Museum and an entire family of Strepsiptera, the Bohartillidae, are named in honor of Professor Bohart.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity.
Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, praying mantids and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold some of the insects and photograph them. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum holds special open houses throughout the academic year. Its regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Tabatha Yang at email@example.com.
Newly published research by an international team of scientists, headed by the Jun-Yan Liu lab of Tongji University, Shanghai, China, and the Bruce Hammock lab at the University of California, Davis, may provide promising therapeutic strategies for those suffering from acute kidney injury (AKI), formerly called acute renal failure.
AKI, common in hospitalized patients—especially among older adults in intensive care--occurs when the kidneys suddenly fail to filter waste products from the blood. Many of these patients do not recover or require dialysis or transplantation, or partly recover and are thus at risk for worsening kidney disease.
The paper, published in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a small molecule inhibitor of soluble epoxide hydrolase developed in the Hammock lab at UC Davis, helped alleviate AKI in mice and prolonged their lives.
“The soluble epoxide hydrolase or sEH degrades chemically stable fatty acid epoxides,” explained Hammock, a UC Davis distinguished professor who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. “But sometimes it can be useful to block the function of sEH, so that beneficial fatty acid epoxides, like those from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are not degraded. These fatty acid epoxides have been found to protect the kidney, reduce inflammation, inflammatory pain, and even chronic or neuropathic pain.”
In general, the epoxides of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil make the soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors even more effective, the Hammock lab has found. “However, in this case, the fish oil seemed to be deleterious rather than beneficial when combined with the sEH inhibitors with kidney injury,” Hammock said. This was unexpected and the investigators caution that fish oil may not always have beneficial effects.
Professor Jun-Yan Liu, a former postgraduate researcher and assistant project scientist in the Hammock lab, related that the lipid mediators that preserve the kidney in AKI are termed EETs. “Their levels can be changed by altering their degradation or biosynthesis with selective inhibitors. This increase in EET resulted in anticipated decreases in the plasma level of creatinine and urea nitrogen—both biomarkers for kidney injury.” He added that they are looking forward to the epoxide hydrolase inhibitors finishing phase I clinical trials in humans so they can be evaluated for preventing or treating AKI.
Specifically, the researchers discovered that a 14(15)-EET mitigated kidney injury and prolonged life, while another epoxide, 19(20)-EDP from fish oil, exacerbated the kidney injury and shortened life. “We found that epoxides of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and DHA-enriched fish oil worsened kidney injury prophylactically and therapeutically in multiple animal models of AKI,” wrote Liu, pointing out that fish oil has proven beneficial in a number of other investigations.
Statistics show that “the incidence of AKI in hospitalized patients increased dramatically from 4.9 percent in 1983 to 20 percent in 2012,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “The mortality from AKI is greater than 50 percent; worldwide, approximately 2 million people die of AKI every year. Therefore, novel, safe and effective approaches are urgently needed to prevent and treat AKI.”
“Because AKI has no specific effective therapy and treatment is merely supportive frequently requiring hemodialysis any new treatment or therapeutic paradigm would be welcome in the nephrology community and has the potential to improve the lives of many patients with AKI,” said kidney expert Dr. Robert Weiss, a professor of medicine in the UC Davis Division of Nephrology, who was not involved in the research.
Kidney injury expert Alan Parrish of the University of Missouri's School of Medicine, Columbia, also not involved in the research, called the findings “significant.”
“The collaborative studies between Dr. Liu's and Hammock's group are an elegant, and timely, contribution to our understanding of acute kidney injury (AKI),” said Parrish, vice chair for education and director of Graduate Studies for Medical Pharmacology at the medical school. “AKI has potentially devastating short-term consequences - high mortality - as well as the detrimental long-term impact on renal function. Importantly, specific interventions to treat AKI in patients have not yet been identified. These results are significant in that they provide a unique mechanistic insight into pathways targeted by soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors that attenuate AKI, providing a powerful rationale for future clinical trials in AKI patients.”
The paper is the work of scientists led by Jun-Yan Liu from the Center for the Nephrology and Metabolomics and Division of Nephrology and Rheumatology, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China: Bing-Qing Deng, Ying Luo, Xin Kang, Chang-Bin Li, Jian Huang, Da-Yong Hu, Ming-Yu Wu, and Ai Peng; and Hammock and his lab researchers Jun Yang, Christophe Morrisseau, Kin Sing Stephen Lee at UC Davis.
CBP supports students engaged in pre-doctoral training at the chemistry-biology interface, preparing them for careers in the biomedical workforce. McReynolds is one of four students selected for the 2017-18 CBP training grant program.
“We are very proud of her,” said Hammock, distinguished professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A member of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group, McReynolds focuses her research on “developing chemical tools to elucidate the biological relevance of chemical compounds (dihydroxy diols) in biological systems.”
Hammock is her major professor. "Cindy has more than 12 years of experience in research and project management, extensive research experience and advanced knowledge of drug development,” Hammock said.
Prior to enrolling in the doctoral program, McReynolds served as the program administrator of UC Davis/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program, directed by Hammock. She is the project manager of EicOsis, a Davis-based company founded by Hammock to develop a small molecule inhibitor to treat pain in humans and animals.
A native of Louisville, KY, McReynolds received her bachelor of science degree in animal science from UC Davis in 1999, and her master's degree in animal science in 2001 from Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., where she was named Outstanding Graduate Student, Teaching Assistant of the Year and recipient of the Dr. Ralph Erb Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Her master's thesis involved how dietary carotenoids inhibit tumor growth.
McReynolds then joined a project development team at Celera Corporation--an Alameda-based company involved in genetic sequencing and related technologies--that led to the selection of Vorinostat, a cancer treatment. She served as a team leader of the Tumor Development Team at Celera, tasked with developing new models of drug-resistant cancer and analyzing newly generated data from the Human Genome Project to identify new cancer therapies.
The seminar takes place from 4 to 5 p.m. in Room 3001 of the Plant and Environmental Science Building.
Audley is presenting a preview of his thesis project in the UC Davis Forest Biology Research Center Seminar Series.
The remaining schedule includes:
Nov. 1 – Alison Scott, postdoctoral student, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, “The Polyploid Origin and Evolutionary History of California Redwoods”
Nov. 15 – Brian Smithers, Ph.D student, Ecology Graduate Group, "Mechanisms of Range Shifts in Great Basin Sub‐Alpine Bristlecone Pine Forests."
Nov. 29 – Sarah Bisbing, assistant professor, Forest Ecosystem Science, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Nevada, Reno, "Looking Backward to See Forward: Causes and Consequences of Altered Disturbance and Climate on Western Conifer Forests.”
Dec. 6 ‐ Ryan Tompkins, Forest Silviculturist, U.S. Forest Service/Plumas National Forest, “Sierra Nevada Silviculture in the New World Order: Challenges, Uncertainties, and Opportunities”
All seminars will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 3001 of the Plant and Environmental Science Building. For more information, contact David Neale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Solar Design to Psychology of Music, to Language and Sociopolitical Dynamics
Faculty presentations on solar design, psychology of music, and language and sociopolitical dynamics will highlight the Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous (LASER) event, set from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16 in Room 115 of the UC Davis Music Building.
The event, free and open to the public, begins with networking at 6; and speaker presentations at 6:30. At 7:15, the program includes conversations and rapid fire community sharing.
The speakers are Beth Ferguson, UC Davis assistant professor of design, who will discuss "The Electric Driver Solar Kiosk"; Petr Janata, professor, UC Davis Department of Psychology and Center for Mind and Brain, who will cover "Musical Neurobiographies"; and Michael Arcega, assistant professor, San Francisco State University Department of Art, whose topic is "WORDSWORDS."
Ferguson operates Sol Design Lab, a solar furniture design/build company. She will discuss her project, the Electric Drive Solar Kiosk, an innovative combination of solar technology and public art that provides shaded seating, LED lighting and free solar power for the public in downtown Austin, Texas. Ferguson collaborates with public utilities, festivals, and universities to position solar energy as a civic and public resource, engaging thousands of participants in the development of projects such as solar charging stations, up-cycled public furniture, climate change emoji, and Green Maps. She has received commissions from SXSW, Austin Energy, ZERO1 San Jose Biennial, TEDxPresidio, Coachella, The ZERO1 American Arts Incubator, the U.S Department of the State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Bay Area Maker Faire.
Janata, in his research on how the human brain engages with music, has examined expectation, imagery, sensorimotor coupling, memory, and emotion in relation to tonality, rhythm, and timbre. His work also emphasizes the use of models of musical structure to analyze behavioral and brain data. "I am particularly interested in musical situations that elicit strong emotional experiences, such as music-evoked remembering or being in the groove," he says. Janata, who holds a doctorate from the University of Oregon, received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2010 to do research in Prague, and in the same year, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to further his investigations of what music-evoked autobiographical memories can tell us about the functional organization of the human brain.
Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. His research-based work revolves around language and sociopolitical dynamics. His subject matter, embedded with historic narratives, material significance, and geography, deals with circumstances where power relations are unbalanced. A naturalized American, he says he "investigates cultural markers that are embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages." His work has been exhibited at the Asian Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in New York, among others.
Although the LASER event is open to the public, reservations are encouraged at http://ucdlaser04.eventbrite.com. The Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/laser.ucd
LASER is sponsored by the Humanities, Art and Cultural Studies, College of Letters and Sciences; the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and LASER/ISAST (The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology). Entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, UC Davis professor of entomology, is a co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, which spearheaded the formation of LASER events at UC Davis.