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News Archive - Mario Aguilera

Plants Pollinated by Honey Bees Produce Lower-quality Offspring

June 28, 2023

In a first-of-its-kind comparison, UC San Diego scientists have shown that pollination by honey bees, which are not native to the Americas, produces offspring of considerably inferior quality (lower fitness) than offspring resulting from native pollinators.

Researchers Find an Immune System ‘Trip Wire’ That Detects COVID-19

June 8, 2023

Biologists have identified a previously unknown way that our immune system detects viruses. The immune protein CARD8 acts as a trip wire to detect a range of viruses, including the virus that causes COVID. They also found that CARD8 functions differently among species and varies between humans.

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.
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