News

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...
May 4, 2018
Portia Mira scored $1,000 for winning third place in the University of California’s 2018 Grad Slam competition , marking UC Merced’s first appearance as a top-three finalist during the systemwide contest. In three minutes, Mira -- a doctoral candidate in the quantitative systems and biology program -- explained her research that examines reversing antibiotic resistance. “I honestly was not...
April 26, 2018
More than 3,700 individuals visited UC Merced last Saturday during the campus’s annual Bobcat Day — a 26 percent increase over 2017 and more than any previous year. About 1,200 admitted students and twice as many family members and other guests sampled all the campus has to offer, learning about financial aid, housing, class registration and different clubs and organizations. For the first time,...
April 19, 2018
After a fierce round of competition during last week’s UC Merced GradSlam! finals, the third time was the charm for quantitative and systems biology (QSB) student Portia Mira, who emerged as the campus’s new champion. For her success, Mira earned a $5,000 grand prize and the honor of representing UC Merced at the systemwide GradSlam! contest on May 3 at LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco....
April 16, 2018
Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national organ transplant waiting list, and about once every hour, someone on the list is removed — either because they died while waiting or grew too ill for surgery. The number of Americans on the waiting list totals more than 114,000 as of this writing, and about 30,000 transplants will be performed this year. In part, that’s because there are not...

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