In brief
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Body of knowledge

A summary of recent findings in clinical, translational and basic science research at UC Davis

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Using machine learning, UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have identified several patterns of maternal autoantibodies highly associated with the diagnosis and severity of autism. Their study in Molecular Psychiatry specifically focused on maternal autoantibody-related autism spectrum disorder (MAR ASD), a condition accounting for around 20% of autism cases. The effort created a new, translatable test for future clinical use.


A unique UC Davis-led study in JAMA Network Open recommends a new way for triaging mammogram patients during times of limited capacity, such as pandemic surges. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers looked at nearly 900,000 individuals and close to 2 million mammograms, and found that a risk-based algorithm successfully maximized cancer detection.

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A UC Davis Health study in Cell Host and Microbe points to the need for a different approach to treating gut inflammation and bacterial imbalance in the colon, after finding that an enzyme in the organ’s lining releases hydrogen peroxide to protect the body from gut microbial communities. Authors pointed to the opportunity of restoring host functions instead of eliminating microbes.

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A UC Davis MIND Institute study of pregnant mice found that high amounts of folic acid during pregnancy harmed the brain development of embryos. Researchers say the findings, published in Cerebral Cortex, indicate that more investigation is needed about best recommended dosage.

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In the largest-ever study of U.S. access to 3D mammography, researchers found that Black women and Latinas, as well as less-educated and lower-income women, haven’t been able to access the more-accurate technique as easily as white, well-educated and higher-income women. UC Davis played a senior role in the JAMA Network Open review of 2.3 million screening exams.


Only 38.5% of women in the U.S. are aware that breastfeeding lowers a mother’s risk of breast cancer, UC Davis Health researchers reported in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Mothers who breastfeed for more than a year cut their risk by 26%, but only 35% of U.S. mothers breastfed for at least a year as recommended by CDC.