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News Archive - Mario Aguilera

Therapeutic Potential of Bizarre ‘Jumbo’ Viruses Tapped for $10M HHMI Emerging Pathogens Project

January 26, 2023

UC San Diego and its collaborating partners have been awarded $10 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to leverage the biomedical promise of viruses known as bacteriophages as new therapeutic agents in the fight against the rising crisis of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

Researchers Create New System for Safer Gene-Drive Testing and Development

January 12, 2023

Researchers have developed a new system for developing gene drives for areas ranging from human health to global food supplies. The new “hacking” system converts split gene drives into full drives, offering new flexibility for safely conducting gene drive experiments in a range of applications.

Brain Cells Under Attack Don ‘Body Armor’ Response, Offering New Views of Stroke Damage

December 13, 2022

UC San Diego neurobiologists have discovered that cells within neurons, the brain’s transmission connectors, protect themselves with a type of body armor when faced with threatening conditions such as during a stroke. The pro-survival mechanism helps reduce brain tissue damage.

Researchers Identify Elusive Carbon Dioxide Sensor in Plants that Controls Water Loss

December 7, 2022

UC San Diego scientists have identified a long-sought carbon dioxide sensor in plants, a discovery that holds implications for trees, crops and wildfires. The researchers found that two proteins work together to form the sensor, which is key for water evaporation, photosynthesis and plant growth.

UC San Diego Faculty Receive New EDI Award from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

November 3, 2022

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have selected UC San Diego Assistant Professors Brian Aguado and Sonya Neal as grant recipients in a new program launched to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in science.

A Chain of Inspiration: Nick Spitzer’s Golden Anniversary at UC San Diego

November 1, 2022

UC San Diego icon Nick Spitzer, known for his warm, engaging personality and a passion for teaching and research, is marking 50 years on campus. A campus celebration and new innovation award have been set to mark his lasting contributions to science and the university.

The Thinking Undead: How Dormant Bacteria Calculate Their Return to Life

October 6, 2022

Facing extreme conditions such as starvation and stress, some bacterial cells enter a dormant state in which life processes stop. Biologists have discovered how they assess environmental conditions for a return to life, carrying implications for evaluating life on Earth as well as other planets.

A Sea Change for Plastic Pollution: New Material Biodegrades in Ocean Water

September 22, 2022

Seeking solutions to counteract a rapid rise in plastic trash, scientists at UC San Diego have developed biodegradable material that is designed to replace conventionally used plastic. In a new study, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has shown that the material biodegrades in seawater.

CRISPR-based Technology Targets Global Crop Pest

August 18, 2022

Applying CRISPR-based technology to a broad agricultural need, scientists have developed a new technology aimed at Drosophila suzukii, the invasive fruit fly responsible for millions of dollars in crop damage. The technology replaces the need for insecticides with precise genetic edits in flies.

Giant Viruses Build a Cell Nucleus Surprisingly Like Our Own

August 3, 2022

Scientists are using new technologies to obtain unprecedented looks inside viruses and their unique abilities to infect and destroy bacteria. Using cryo-EM and other technologies, they found that jumbo phage cells feature a compartment that is surprisingly similar to the nucleus of human cells.
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