Friday, December 18, 2009

Crop Disease Research

Dr. King presented work at the 2009 Pierce's Disease Research Symposium in Sacramento, CA. King is collaborating on a $520,000 research effort to address the grape crop disease in California. Pierce's Disease is an infection of grape vines caused by the bacterium, Xyllela fastidiosa. The projects aim is to give grapevines resistance to X. f. through a transgenic rootstock incorporating a gene from a plant that is resistant to X. f. King's laboratory created molecular models of pectinase inhibitor proteins from more than a dozen candidate plant species and screened their potential for inhibiting X.f. pectinases computationally. The results were used to support and guide the molecular/plant biology work being carried out at UC-Davis in Dr. John Labavitch's lab. Pictures of the projects are below.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Forensic Science: Crime Scene Projects

As the semester is winding down, students in the Introduction to Forensics Science course are putting their learning to the test. Each student group will create a crime scene and investigate another group's crime scene. The crime scenes are complete with evidence, witnesses, and back stories for the investigating group to analyze and explore. During the final exam period, groups will present their investigation to the class, much like a press conference. Students will utilize many of the skills they have learned during the semester like DNA analysis with gel-electrophoresis, blood typing, presumptive blood tests, latent fingerprint collection and analysis, analysis of trace compounds by GCMS and FTIR, to solve their crime.