Recent News

  • Mutant Gene Found to Fuel Cancer-Promoting Effects of Inflammation

    Crosstalk between tumor and immune response boosts human cancers

    A human gene called p53, which is commonly known as the “guardian of the genome,” is widely known to combat the formation and progression of tumors. Yet, mutant forms of p53 have been linked to more cases of human cancer than any other gene.

    Investigating core mechanisms of how cancer cells respond to their surroundings in the human body, biologists at the University of California San Diego have discovered new evidence about mutant p53 that may reshape our understanding of tumor growth and ultimately how we treat cancer.

  • Pair of Discoveries Illuminate New Paths to Flu and Anthrax Treatments

    Experiments provide details of mechanisms underlying viruses and infections

    Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

    Published a month apart in PLOS Pathogens, the studies from Professor Ethan Bier’s laboratory used a series of experiments to identify key pathways and mechanisms previously unknown or overlooked in the body’s defenses.

  • Luring Hornets: Scientists Unlock Sex Pheromone of Notorious Honey Bee Predator

    Traps baited with synthetic pheromone could become solution to invasive Asian hornet

    Over the past decade, Asian hornets, predatory insects with a widespread and expanding population, have invaded parts of Europe and Korea. Vespa velutina has a growing reputation as a species that proliferates rapidly, preys on honey bees and poses risks to humans.

    Now a biologist at the University of California San Diego and his colleagues in Asia have developed a solution for controlling Asian hornets derived from the insect’s natural chemical mating instincts.

  • Bingfei Yu Wins 2017 Biology Founding Faculty Award

    Award established in 2014 honors excellence in graduate research

    Bingfei Yu, a graduate student in Professor Ananda Goldrath’s laboratory in the Division of Biological Sciences, has been awarded the 2017 Biology Founding Faculty Award for Graduate Excellence.

    Founded in 2014, the $1,000 award is bestowed annually through an endowment from the Division of Biological Sciences’ founding faculty. Yu was recognized during an award ceremony Sept. 28, 2017 at UC San Diego’s Faculty Club.

  • A Flip Flop Revolution

    From algae surfboards to sustainable shoes, a campus innovation that could change the world

    UC San Diego students and researchers have produced the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip flops.

    The first prototypes of their new invention, developed over the summer in a York Hall chemistry laboratory, consist of a flexible, spongy slipper adorned with a Triton logo and a simple strap—fairly basic, as flip flops go.

    But when they go into full production later this academic year at what researchers hope will be a projected cost of $3 a pair, the impact of this campus innovation could be revolutionary, changing the world for the better environmentally.

  • Emma Farley Garners National High-Risk, High-Reward Award

    Two UC San Diego scientists recognized for innovative biomedical research

    Two researchers at the University of California San Diego have been selected to receive awards from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) 2017 High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program.

    The NIH created the awards, given to “exceptionally creative scientists,” to support unconventional approaches to major challenges in biomedical research.

    Through the program, Emma Farley, an assistant professor at UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences and School of Medicine, has been awarded the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Melissa Gymrek, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine and Department of Computer Science and Engineering, will receive the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.

  • UC San Diego Researchers Explain the Mechanism of Asexual Reproduction in Freshwater Flatworms

    Freshwater planarians, found around the world and commonly known as “flatworms,” are famous for their regenerative prowess. Through a process called “fission,” planarians can reproduce asexually by simply tearing themselves into two pieces— a head and a tail—which then go on to form two new worms within about a week. 

    When, where and how this process unfolds has remained a puzzle for centuries due to the difficulty of studying fission. But now, a team of University of California San Diego scientists provides a new biomechanical explanation in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

  • Locking Down the Big Bang of Immune Cells

    Forgotten strands of DNA initiate the development of immune cells

    Intricate human physiological features such as the immune system require exquisite formation and timing to develop properly. Genetic elements must be activated at just the right moment, across vast distances of genomic space.

    “Promoter” areas, locations where genes begin to be expressed, must be paired precisely with “enhancer” clusters, where cells mature to a targeted function. Faraway promoters must be brought in proximity with their enhancer counterparts, but how do they come together? When these elements are not in sync, diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma can result. How does this work?

    Biologists at the University of California San Diego believe they have the answer.

  • Neurobiologists Selected for National Awards

    Matthew Banghart and Yishi Jin receive prestigious recognition and funding

    Matthew Banghart and Yishi Jin, UC San Diego researchers in the Division of Biological Sciences Neurobiology Section, have been selected to receive research awards by national organizations.

  • Tata Institute for Genetics and Society Advances with Building Naming, Inaugural Chair Holders

    UC San Diego celebrated the dedication of a new building for the divisions of Biological and Physical Sciences on Sept. 12 with a special announcement. The cutting-edge science building will bear the name Tata Hall for the Sciences, or Tata Hall, in recognition of a $70 million gift from the Tata Trusts, which was committed last year to create the binational Tata Institute for Genetics and Society.

    The Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, established as a collaborative partnership between the university and research operations in India, will occupy the fifth floor of Tata Hall. The institute’s mission is the advancement of global science and technology through socially conscious means to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from public health to agriculture.

To read more about Division of Biological Sciences happenings, see the News Archives.