News

August 16, 2018
Independence: It’s what many students value most about the transition to college life. But the freedom to make decisions without interference from parents can lead to unhealthy eating habits. There’s the dreaded “Freshman 15” — the 15 pounds that students purportedly gain during their first year of college. Though data suggests that the number is exaggerated, studies show that the transition to...
August 10, 2018
Paleoecology Professor Jessica Blois recently became the campus’s 19th recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award. The NSF describes as the CAREER as its “most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of...
July 3, 2018
Let There Be Energy-Efficient Light The University of California is spearheading a statewide effort to advance the purchase of 1 million high-quality, energy-efficient light bulbs for campus buildings and residences across the state. Under the Community Buy Program, all UC students, staff, faculty and alumni can purchase light bulbs — at nearly half the price of online competitors — via the...
July 3, 2018
UC Merced’s efforts to make science education more inclusive were recently given a huge boost after the campus was awarded its first Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant, an impressive mark of distinction that reflects the strong upward trajectory of the campus’s research and teaching efforts. One of 33 schools selected this year to join the HHMI Inclusive Excellence initiative, UC Merced...
July 2, 2018
New research published today in the Nature Partner journal npj Systems Biology and Applications establishes how genome-wide data in combination with systems biology analyses can identify master regulators and new drug targets in therapy-resistant cancers. The new discovery explains how cancer controls specific effector networks — findings with important implications for the future of cancer...
June 29, 2018
In 1998, scientists studying rheumatoid arthritis observed a population of immune cells that weren’t behaving the way they were supposed to. Immunologists noted the strange phenomenon, but decided not to pursue the subject further, and the cells were soon forgotten. But interest in these cells has swelled over the past few years as they’ve been found in patients with chronic viral infections and...
June 19, 2018
In 2012, Environmental Systems graduate student Lauren Schiebelhut was collecting DNA from ochre sea stars living along the Northern California coast — part of an effort to study genetic diversity in various marine species that serve as indicators of habitat health. She had no idea that just one year later, most of the sea stars would be dead. The culprit was sea star wasting disease (SSWD), a...
June 14, 2018
Biology Professor Anna Beaudin was named a member of the 2018 class of Pew Biomedical Scholars today, one of 22 early-career researchers nationwide to receive this year’s prestigious award. “I am thrilled and humbled to be joining such an accomplished and talented group of scientists as a 2018 Pew Biomedical Scholar,” Beaudin said. “Receiving this award will give my lab the opportunity to dig...
May 31, 2018
Neurons keep time. These brain cells – which are responsible for the brain’s “heavy lifting,” from information processing to memory formation – seem to "know" how long they’ve been exposed to sensory stimulation. Now, scientists are starting to understand how they do this. Neurobiology Professor Ramen Saha recently identified an important component of the brain’s timekeeping machinery, a major...
May 23, 2018
It reads like a mashup of Greek mythology and H.G. Wells. “The Odyssey of Doctor Moreau,” perhaps. Explorers find their way to a remote Aegean island and discover it’s inhabited by reptilian cannibals. They describe one encounter as follows: “[I]t began to run away, with the dead lizard torso and head still in its mouth. The cannibal continuously ran along the top of a wall and paused...

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