Human & Animal Health

A Message From the Dean - May 2019

May 21, 2019
A commitment to human well-being is one of our core strengths

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is well known for its work in agriculture and the environment, but it also contributes important knowledge for improving the health and well-being of children, youth and families. Our researchers put into practice the idea that investment early in life prevents problems and social issues later. Human sciences are very much a part of our land-grant mission to serve the public.

An Evolutionary Rescue in Polluted Waters

May 02, 2019

How Genetics, Resources and a Long-Distant Relative Helped One Lucky Fish Species Adapt to Extreme Pollution

The combination of a big population, good genes and luck helps explain how a species of fish in Texas’ Houston Ship Channel was able to adapt to what normally would be lethal levels of toxins for most other species, according to a study to be published May 3 in the journal Science

Endangered White Abalone Program Yields Biggest Spawning Success Yet

April 26, 2019
Millions of Eggs Bring Program 1 Step Closer to Saving Species

The Bodega Marine Laboratory’s white abalone program has millions of new additions following its most successful spawning ever at the University of California, Davis, facility.

Three out of nine recently collected wild white abalone spawned last week, as did seven of 12 captive-bred white abalone. One wild female was particularly generous, producing 20.5 million eggs herself.

Most Microbes in Hummingbird Feeders Do Not Pose Health Hazard

March 06, 2019
Feeders or Flowers? Researchers Compare Microbes

Many people set up hummingbird feeders in their yards to nurture and watch these high-energy pollinators. But could the sugar water they provide be impacting these tiny feathered friends?

A study led by the University of California, Davis, is one of the first to address the potential for sugar water from hummingbird feeders to act as a vector for avian — or even zoonotic — pathogens. It found that the majority of microbes growing in feeders do not likely pose a significant health hazard to birds or humans.

UC Davis Professor Tim Caro has devoted his life to studying African wildlife

February 20, 2019

Tim Caro knew from a very young age what he wanted to make of his life.

“My mother gave me a copy of The Observer’s Book of Birdsat the age of three, and from that point onward I wanted to be a zoologist,” said the British-born UC Davis wildlife distinguished professor.

Human Actions Impact Wild Salmon’s Ability to Evolve

December 04, 2018
Spring-Run Chinook’s Decline and Loss Connected to Specific Gene Variation

Once spring-run chinook salmon disappear, they are not likely to re-emerge, indicates genetic analysis of the revered wild fish in a study led by the University of California, Davis. Prompt conservation action could preserve spring-run chinook, as well as their evolutionary potential.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Are Harmful to Health and May Be Addictive, Researchers Suggest

November 20, 2018
Deprived of Beverages, Regular Drinkers Reported Headaches, Cravings

Just as we might have guessed, those tasty, sugar-sweetened beverages that increase risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases may actually be addictive. Youth between 13 and 18 years of age who were deprived of sugary drinks for just three days reported headaches, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, according to a University of California study with researchers from both the Davis and Berkeley campuses.

A friendly microbe could block superbugs

November 19, 2018

Newborn Baby Jane in Sacramento, California, might have access to the best, most modern medical care, but she’s likely missing something else: Friendly gut microbes. Uniquely adapted to human breast milk, these microbes provide optimal nutrition, keep out hostile infections, and may even stop the spread of disease.  

Improving chickens to quell hunger worldwide

October 25, 2018
USAID awards Genomics to Improve Poultry Innovation Lab second phase of funding 

Throughout Africa, chickens are vital to family nourishment, income and food security. But African poultry production is threatened by an extremely virulent Newcastle disease virus that can decimate entire flocks within days.