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News Archive - Mario Aguilera

Researchers Identify Brain Circuits Tied to the Behavior of Schooling Fish

July 17, 2024

UC San Diego researchers have uncovered the roots of group behavior in the brains of schooling fish. Glassfish, they found, depend on their sense of vision to coordinate social swimming behavior in schools and increase their ability to follow coordinated group movements as they mature.

Not So Selfish After All: Viruses Use Freeloading Genes as Weapons

July 4, 2024

Certain pieces of DNA have been labeled as “selfish genetic elements” due to notions that they don’t contribute to a host organism’s survival. Instead, researchers have now discovered that these elements have been weaponized and play a crucial role by cutting off a competitor’s ability to reproduce.

New ‘Atlas’ Provides Unprecedented Insights on How Genes Function in Early Embryo Development

May 23, 2024

UC San Diego biologists have provided new insights on a longstanding puzzle in biology: How complex organisms arise from a single fertilized cell. Producing a new “gene atlas” with 4D imaging, the researchers captured unprecedented insights on how embryonic development unfolds.

Detecting Odors on the Edge: Researchers Decipher How Insects Smell More with Less

May 20, 2024

While humans feature a sophisticated sense of smell, insects have a much more basic olfactory system. Yet they depend upon smell to survive. Scientists have figured out how fruit flies use a simple but efficient system to recognize odors, and the answer lies at the edges of their antennae.

Researchers Discover Key Functions of Therapeutically Promising Jumbo Viruses

May 1, 2024

Viruses known as “jumbo” phages are seen as a potential tool against deadly bacterial infections. But scientists must first decipher the extraordinary makeup of these mysterious viruses. Researchers have now uncovered a key piece of jumbo phage development that helps them counter bacteria.

There is an Art to Communicating Scientific Research

May 1, 2024

UC San Diego's Research Communications Program focuses on practical training to help scientific researchers shine as they share their findings on and off camera.

Cell Division Quality Control ‘Stopwatch’ Uncovered

March 28, 2024

UC San Diego biologists have uncovered a quality control timing mechanism tied to cell division. The “stopwatch” function keeps track of mitosis and acts as a protective measure when the process takes too long, preventing the formation of cancerous cells.

New Genetic Analysis Tool Tracks Risks Tied to CRISPR Edits

March 26, 2024

While CRISPR has shown immense promise as a next-generation therapeutic tool, the gene editing technology’s edits are still imperfect. Researchers have developed a new genetic system to test and analyze CRISPR-based DNA repair and related risks from unintended but harmful “bystander” edits.

How Fear Unfolds inside Our Brains

March 14, 2024

The stress-induced mechanisms that cause our brain to produce feelings of fear in the absence of threats — such as in PTSD — mostly have been a mystery. Now, neurobiologists have identified the changes in brain biochemistry and mapped the neural circuitry that cause generalized fear experiences.

Biological Sciences Professor Terrence Sejnowski Wins Brain Prize

March 5, 2024

Terrence Sejnowski has been selected to receive the 2024 Brain Prize, the world’s largest neuroscience prize, for his pioneering work in computational and theoretical neuroscience, contributions to our understanding of the brain and paving the way for the development of brain-inspired AI.
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