About Egghead

Egghead is a blog about research by, with or related to UC Davis. Comments on posts are welcome, as are tips and suggestions for posts. General feedback may be sent to Andy Fell. This blog is created and maintained by UC Davis Strategic Communications, and mostly edited by Andy Fell.

New Drug Addresses Obesity-related Leaky Gut

By Kathy Keatley Garvey

A drug discovered and developed in the laboratory of Professor .

More than 4, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity increases the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.

Innovative ANNIE Detector Sees First Neutrinos

By Becky Oskin

The Accelerator Neutrino Neutron Interaction Experiment at Fermilab, known as , has seen its first neutrino events. (Neutrino events are interactions between neutrinos and water in the detector.) This milestone heralds the start of an ambitious program in neutrino physics and detector technology development.

Physics experiment

Photomultiplier tubes inside the ANNIE neutrino detector at Fermilab. The detector recently recorded its first events. Photo credit: Reidar Hahn/Fermilab

UC Davis Startup PvP Biologics Acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals

By Lisa Howard

PvP Biologics, a startup based on technology developed at the University of Washington and UC Davis, that it has been acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical 体彩手机在线怎么下载 Limited.

The acquisition comes after the conclusion of a Phase 1 proof-of-mechanism study of an investigational medicine, TAK-062, also known as Kuma062, for the treatment of celiac disease.

Justin Siegel

UC Davis chemistry professor Justin Siegel is a co-founder of PvP Biologics, which has developed a novel enzyme to treat celiac disease. PvP announced Feb. 26 that it has been acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical 体彩手机在线怎么下载. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis Photo)

CRISPR Genome Editing Strategy Could Improve Rice, Other Crops

By Amy Quinton

Scientists at UC Davis have used CRISPR technology to genetically engineer rice with high levels of beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. The technique they used provides a promising strategy for genetically improving rice and other crops. The study was published today in the journal .

Rice grains

UC Davis plant scientists used CRISPR technology to introduce beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, into rice. The biofortified rice is shown on the right. Genetically modified “golden rice” enriched with carotene is already grown in the Philippines as a way to fight vitamin A deficiency. CRISPR could be a new route to such crop improvements. (体彩手机在线怎么下载Phone by Oliver Dong, UC Davis)

Reposting: A Conversation with Freeman Dyson

Freeman Dyson, a pioneering mathematical physicist and iconoclastic thinker, at the age of 96. I had the opportunity to interview Dyson when he visited Davis in 2008. Our conversation ranged from the current state of the world (better than the 1930s all round, he thought) through advanced physics, nuclear weapons and extraterrestrial civilizations. To save you a click, I’m reposting the entire conversation below.

A Conversation With Freeman Dyson (Posted Nov. 10, 2008)

Thinker, physicist and author spent two weeks at the end of October, 2008 on the UC Davis campus. His visit was sponsored by the Department of Physics as part of their Centennial Speaker Series.

Caustics and Contact Geometry: From Coffee Cups to String Theory

Have you ever admired sunlight glittering on waves, mused over the cusp of light in your morning coffee cup, or eyed the highlight on a polished cue ball? What you were looking at was an optical phenomenon called a caustic.

Pretty Arboretum picture

Caustics are patterns that emerge from the reflection of light rays from surfaces — such as the glitter of sunlight on wavelets in the UC Davis Arboretum.

Caustics are patterns formed by rays of light bouncing off surfaces. The mathematics that explains caustics is called . That’s the speciality of to support his work.

Lab Mice Can Lead The Way Into the Deep Genome

Despite huge progress in genome sequencing and analysis significant portions of the human genome remain ‘dark’ and understudied. This lack of knowledge is a threat to developments in medicine. To counter this, a worldwide group of scientists, clinicians and academics is calling for a new effort to explore the dark genome – led by mouse genetics.

Scientist with lab mice.

Prof. Kent Lloyd, director of the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program, in the lab. Gene-edited and “knockout” mice can reveal the unexplored regions of the human genome and lead to breakthroughs in medicine. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

Setting Standards for Testing Perovskites for Solar Power

By Noah Pflueger-Peters

Perovskites are organic/inorganic hybrid materials that are promising candidates to make photovoltaic solar cells. Though they can generate solar energy more efficiently and cheaply than other types of photovoltaics, perovskites are highly sensitive to degradation over time from the environment. A new consensus paper published in sets out standards for evaluating and testing perovskites. Marina Leite, associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is a co-author on the document which is the result of the 12th International Summit on Organic Photovoltaic Stability (ISOS) in October 2019.

Cooling the Earth With Radiators

With the Earth’s climate continuing to, all approaches may be on the table in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change. One controversial approach is geoengineering – massive engineering projects intended to slow global warming. A problem with these approaches is that they do not address the fundamental problems of adding carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels to the atmosphere and oceans. But they might mitigate the immediate effects of climate change while the world’s economy transitions away from carbon-based fuels.

UC Davis engineering professor Jeremy Munday recently detailed a proposal to temporarily cool the Earth using materials that radiate heat into space.

Uncovering the Genetic Roots of Seed Response to Cold

By Greg Watry

Timing is everything for seeds. Lying beneath the soil, they wait for the perfect moment to emerge, taking cues from the environment above. Germinate when it’s too hot and dry, and the seeds run the risk of death. Germinate and it’s too cold, and the outcome is much the same.


The researchers exposed the seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana to 13 different chilling treatments and measured their responses. (Alena Kravchenko)