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Viral Switches Share a Shape

October 27, 2014

A hinge in the RNA genome of the virus that causes hepatitis C works like a switch that can be flipped to prevent it from replicating in infected cells. Scientists have discovered that this shape is shared by several other viruses—among them one that kills cancer cells.

Cell membranes self-assemble

October 27, 2014

A self-driven reaction can assemble phospholipid membranes like those that enclose cells, a team of chemists at the University of California, San Diego, reports in Angewandte Chemie.

Real-time Readout of Neurochemical Activity

October 27, 2014

Scientists have created cells with fluorescent dyes that change color in response to specific neurochemicals. By implanting these cells into living mammalian brains, they have shown how neurochemical signaling changes as a food reward drives learning, they report in Nature Methods online October 26.

Physicists Solve Longstanding Puzzle of How Moths Find Distant Mates

October 20, 2014

Physicists have come up have with a mathematical explanation for moths’ remarkable ability to find mates in the dark hundreds of meters away.

POLARBEAR Detects Curls in the Universe’s Oldest Light

October 20, 2014

Cosmologists have made the most sensitive and precise measurements yet of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background.

Quantum Design Supports UC San Diego Physics Students with $279,000 Gift

October 17, 2014

Physics majors at the University of California, San Diego will have the opportunity to gain experience and training on the same high-tech tools that industry researchers use, thanks to contributions from Quantum Design. The San Diego-based technology company—which has strong alumni ties to the campus—is providing in-kind and cash gifts totaling $279,000 to update and modernize lab courses and instructional materials in the department of physics.

Four UC San Diego Teams Win NIH Grants from Obama’s BRAIN Initiative

September 30, 2014

Four teams of scientists at UC San Diego will receive research grants from the National Institutes of Health that will help lay the groundwork for visualizing the circuits of the brain and how they work, the agency announced at a White House ceremony today.

Nitrogen Fingerprint in Biomolecules and Extraterrestrial Objects Could Be From Early Sun

September 29, 2014

Chemical fingerprints of the element nitrogen vary by extremes in materials from the molecules of life to the solar wind to interstellar dust. Ideas for how this great variety came about have included alien molecules shuttled in by icy comets from beyond our solar system and complex chemical scenarios.

Program Predicts Placement of Chemical Tags that Control Gene Activity

September 22, 2014

Biochemists working at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a program that predicts the placement of chemical marks that control the activity of genes based on sequences of DNA. They describe their analysis and report results from its application to human embryonic cells in a paper published in Nature Methods online September 21.

Four UC San Diego Faculty Win ‘Early Concept’ Grants from Obama’s BRAIN Initiative

August 18, 2014

Four scientists at UC San Diego are among 36 recipients nationwide who have been awarded early concept grants for brain research from the National Science Foundation, the agency announced today.
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