News

April 26, 2017
When scientists at UC Merced seek to better understand California’s biodiversity, they turn to cutting-edge genomics. They also turn to their neighbors. On a sunny Saturday in April, scientists joined forces with members of the local community to take part in UC Merced’s inaugural eDNA BioBlitz. Under the guidance of Professor Michael Dawson and a team of conservation biologists from UC Merced,...
April 19, 2017
After a fierce round of competition during the GradSlam! finals on April 13, environmental systems student Byran Fuhrmann emerged as UC Merced’s new GradSlam! campus champion. For winning the competition — in which graduate students give 3-minute TED-style presentations of their research — Fuhrmann walked away with the recently increased $5,000 grand prize and the honor of representing UC Merced...
March 27, 2017
The rapid pace of global change has large impacts on nature, and on the work conservation biologists will have before them, too. From here on out, experts say, the fossil record is going to be critical to guide nature into the future. A new paper in the journal Science, co-authored by UC Merced paleoecology Professor Jessica Blois, contends that rather than holding ecosystems to an idealized past...
March 16, 2017
In finding a way to see assemblies of the proteins that direct cyanobacterial circadian rhythms, or biological clocks, UC Merced biochemistry Professor Andy LiWang and his colleagues have done what no one else has been able to, despite more than 15 years of trying. A new paper released in the prestigious journal Science today explains how the labs of LiWang and his colleagues — Professor Carrie...
March 1, 2017
The National Cancer Institute’s “cancer moonshot” tasks researchers with, among advancing other new biotechnologies, delving into immunotherapy and epigenomic analysis. UC Merced Professor Fabian V. Filipp is doing his part, further developing his work on precision targeting of cancers and personalized medicine. Filipp has already mapped the genetic landscape of melanoma and found a drug that...
February 27, 2017
If you want to know what the ocean really smells like, you’ll have to ask a crab. Yes, crabs have a sense of smell. In humans, chemicals in the air flow into our nasal cavities toward specialized sensory cells. Olfaction occurs when odorant molecules bind to specific sites on the olfactory receptors, or chemosensors. But crabs don’t have closed-in nasal cavities like humans do, of course. Like...
February 10, 2017
Everyone is invited to hear UC Merced Professor Clarissa Nobile, this year’s Pellissier Distinguished Speaker, discussing biofilms. “Microbial Films: Why are They Important? How do They Form? And What Does This Mean for You?” looks at biofilms, the predominant growth state of most microorganisms on living and nonliving surfaces. Like all bacteria and bacterial products, some biofilms are helpful...
February 1, 2017
Researchers at UC Merced are playing key roles in the new UC Valley Fever Research Initiative, studying how the Valley fever fungus, Coccidioides immitis, causes disease in its mammalian hosts, and identifying the genes involved in this process. School of Natural Sciences professors Clarissa Nobile, Katrina Hoyer and Aaron Hernday are part of an effort led by UC San Francisco scientist Anita Sil...
January 18, 2017
A new study identifies genetic changes in Native Americans that came about when Europeans settled in the Pacific Northwest and might have played a major role in why so many natives died of infectious disease. In a new paper in Nature Communications, “A Time Transect of Exomes from a Native American Population Before and After European Contact,” UC Merced Professor Emilia Huerta-Sánchez and...
January 11, 2017
There are many labs at UC Merced where visitors can see students huddled over microscopes and petri dishes, using tweezers to extract and examine different items. But no one at UC Merced has ever seen the likes of what’s going on in Professor Kara McCloskey’s class. The graduate and undergraduate students in her Tissue Engineering Design course learning to build living, walking robots — bio-bots...

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