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News Archive - Mario Aguilera

Groundbreaking Images of Root Chemicals Offer New Insights on Plant Growth

May 24, 2023

Applying imaging technology to plant roots, researchers have developed a new understanding of chemicals that are responsible for plant growth. The chemical “roadmap” identifies where key molecules are distributed along corn roots and how their placement factors into the plant’s maturation.

$2.5M Gift Targets Gaps in Circadian Biology and Medicine

May 23, 2023

A $2.5 million initiative supported by philanthropists Irwin and Joan Jacobs has created the Stuart and Barbara L. Brody Endowed Chair in Circadian Biology and Medicine, along with a supporting research fund, to target largely unexplored areas related to circadian biology and patient health.

Artificial Intelligence Catalyzes Gene Activation Research and Uncovers Rare DNA Sequences

May 18, 2023

Biologists have used machine learning, a type of AI, to identify “synthetic extreme” DNA sequences with specifically designed functions in gene activation. They tested 50 million DNA sequences and found synthetic DNA sequences with activities that could be useful in biotechnology and medicine.

Sonya Neal Named Inaugural HHMI Freeman Hrabowski Scholar

May 9, 2023

Assistant Professor Sonya Neal has been named by HHMI as an inaugural Freeman Hrabowski Scholar. She joins an initial cohort of outstanding early career faculty in science who have potential to become leaders in their research fields and to create diverse and inclusive lab environments.

Inspiring Minds

May 1, 2023

Biological sciences professor Nick Spitzer reflects on 50 years of teaching, and an innovation award is launched in his name to support original scientific research by undergraduate students.

Scientists Slow Aging by Engineering Longevity in Cells

April 27, 2023

Researchers have developed a biosynthetic “clock” that keeps cells from reaching normal levels of deterioration related to aging. They engineered a gene oscillator that switches between the two normal paths of aging, slowing cell degeneration and setting a record for life extension.

Elephant Ecosystems in Decline

April 27, 2023

Global space for Asian elephant habitats has been in rapid decline since the 1700s, a new report reveals. More than 3 million square kilometers of the Asian elephant’s historic habitat range has been lost in just three centuries and may underlie present-day conflicts between elephants and people.

Tracking a New Path to Octopus and Squid Sensing Capabilities

April 14, 2023

Research led by UC San Diego and Harvard has traced the evolutionary adaptations of octopus and squid sensing capabilities. The researchers describe for the first time the structure of an octopus chemotactile receptor, which octopus arms use for taste-by-touch exploration of the seafloor.

Eye-opening Origin Story: Scientists Trace Key Innovation in Our Camera-like Vision to Bacteria

April 12, 2023

Scientists have traced the origin of a unique protein key to vertebrate’s camera-like vision back 500 million years. Their analysis of more than 900 genomes across the tree of life revealed that the protein came through horizontal gene transfer from foreign bacterial genes.
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