Many of the items people use in their everyday lives, from baby clothes and Halloween costumes to furniture, are doused with chemical flame retardants designed to make the items safer.
Theoretical physics Professor Ajay Gopinathan has been working over the past decade to model a submicroscopic mystery. Now, he and a team of colleagues have verified an important piece of the puzzle of how tiny, intrinsically twisted protein filaments responsible for repairing and growing cells know where to go to perform their function.
The work could someday enable scientists to control bacterial growth.
About 4.5 billion people around the globe do not have access to adequate sanitation, and what they do have — typically pit latrines and lagoons — are responsible for widespread illnesses and a portion of the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet.
UC Merced Professor Rebecca Ryals and a group of colleagues have a solution that not only increases safety, sustainability and jobs, but reduces greenhouse gas emissions and waste-borne illnesses while producing an effective fertilizer for agriculture.
A UC Merced researcher and her lab have unlocked one of the mysteries that could lead to treatments — or even cures — for prion diseases in mammals.
Prion diseases are a family of rare, progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans — such as with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or fatal familial insomnia — and animals, such as mad-cow disease. These disorders are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Breakthrough collaborative science by an interdisciplinary team of researchers brought together by computational biology Professor David Ardell promises a new approach for treating all types of infections.
Infections have become more dangerous in recent years because bacteria and parasites rapidly evolve resistance to the medicines.
Bioengineering Professor Victor Muñoz has answered a long-standing genetic mystery, and his research suggests that someday, bioengineers could devise ways to control gene activity — manually switching off the genes that contribute to cancer, for instance.
“If this mechanism turns out to be as powerful as we anticipate, engineering it will be relatively straightforward,” Muñoz said. “Controlling the output of genes could be done in a targeted way by new genome editing technologies such as CRISPR.”
Professor Joel Spencer was a rising star in college soccer and now he is an emerging scientist in the world of biomedical engineering, capturing — for the first time — an image of a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) within the bone marrow of a living organism.
Professor Jing Xu and her students study extremely tiny motor proteins, but their work could make a huge contribution to the growing body of knowledge about Alzheimer’s and other diseases that progressively destroy brain tissue.
Professor Clarissa Nobile has been named the newest Kamangar Family Endowed Chair in Biological Sciences and will be honored at a private ceremony with the donors this fall.
“I am so pleased and honored to have been named to this chair,” Nobile said. “Thank you for investing in me and the future of biomedical research on infectious diseases at UC Merced.”
UC Merced is offering the opportunity for Valley residents to learn what clinicians and researchers know about Valley fever, an airborne fungal infection that can have serious, even fatal, consequences for people across California and the Southwest.
A multi-campus Valley fever summit in the California Room at UC Merced on Oct. 25 is free and open to all who reserve seats online by 5 p.m. Oct. 15.