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  • Apr 7 2017

    Stephanie Mel Honored for Exceptional Undergraduate Teaching

    Associate teaching professor among those recognized at Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony

    Stephanie Mel, associate teaching professor of molecular biology, was recognized by the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Associates for excellence in undergraduate teaching during the 2017 Faculty Excellence Awards.

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  • Apr 6 2017

    UC San Diego Biologists Discover Timesharing Strategy in Bacteria

    Communities found to coordinate feeding to streamline efficiency

    Timesharing, researchers have found, isn’t only for vacation properties. While the idea of splitting getaway condos in exotic destinations among various owners has been popular in real estate for decades, biologists at the University of California San Diego have discovered that communities of bacteria have been employing a similar strategy for millions of years.

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  • Mar 21 2017

    Ancient Biological Clockwork Revealed Using ‘Secret Sauce’

    A new paper released in the prestigious journal Science explains how the labs of LiWang and his colleagues captured assemblies of the proteins that direct cyanobacterial circadian rhythms, or biological clocks, in large complexes and made spectroscopic “snapshots” of their different formations using X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

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  • Mar 2 2017

    Bacteria Recruit Other Species with Long Range Electrical Signals

    Biologists at UC San Diego who recently found that bacteria resolve social conflicts within their communities and communicate with one another like neurons in the brain have discovered another human-like trait in these apparently not-so-simple, single-celled creatures.

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  • Jan 18 2017

    Biologists Discover How Viruses Hijack Cell’s Machinery

    Biologists at UC San Diego have documented for the first time how very large viruses reprogram the cellular machinery of bacteria during infection to more closely resemble an animal or human cell—a process that allows these alien invaders to trick cells into producing hundreds of new viruses, which eventually explode from and kill the cells they infect.

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  • Nov 10 2016

    Hacking a Revolution in Biology

    Graduate students in new quantitative biology doctoral program learn to modify microscopes and other instruments to probe frontiers of their emerging discipline

    Graduate studies within any single scientific discipline are challenging endeavors on their own. But imagine combining graduate school-level training in physics and mathematics with advanced research in engineering and biology.

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  • Oct 14 2016

    Rachel Dutton Awarded Packard Fellowship

    A molecular biology professor at the University of California San Diego who developed an innovative way to understand the development and evolution of microbial communities using cheese is one of 18 early-career scientists and engineers nationwide who have won prestigious 2016 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering.

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  • Aug 22 2016

    Single-Celled Fungi Multiply, Alien-Like, by Fusing Cells in Host

    Microsporidia cause diarrhea, an illness called microsporidiosis and even death in immune-compromised individuals.

    In spite of those widespread medical problems, scientists were uncertain about how these single-celled fungi reproduced in human or animal cells.

    But in a study that employed transparent roundworms, biologists at the University of California San Diego succeeded in directly observing how these microorganisms replicate and spread. And what they saw surprised them.

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  • Jul 20 2016

    Synthetic Biology Used to Limit Bacterial Growth and Coordinate Drug Release

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a strategy for using synthetic biology in therapeutics. The approach enables continual production and release of drugs at disease sites in mice while simultaneously limiting the size, over time, of the populations of bacteria engineered to produce the drugs. The findings are published in the July 20 online issue of Nature.

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  • Apr 21 2016

    Say ‘Cheese’

    In an innovative effort to understand microbial communities, a UC San Diego biology professor has turned cheese into her ‘lab rat’

    While many microbiologists build entire research careers around studies of a single microorganism, Rachel Dutton has taken her career in the other direction—examining collections of microbes, but with an unusual twist. She studies what grows on cheese.

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  • Mar 29 2016

    Biologists Discover Sophisticated “Alarm” Signals in Honey Bees

    ‘Stop signals’ found to encode predator danger and attack context

    Bees can use sophisticated signals to warn their nestmates about the level of danger from predators attacking foragers or the nest, according to a new study.

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  • Oct 29 2015

    Mining Microbes: Division Plays Key Role in Campus Initiative

    You are only 10 percent human. Ninety percent of the cells that make up our bodies are actually bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes. And researchers are now finding that these unique microbial communities — called microbiomes — can greatly influence human and environmental health. The human gut microbiome alone has now been linked to allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and many other conditions.

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  • Oct 15 2015

    A Mentor for Success

    Biology professor strives to serve as example for students from diverse backgrounds

    Like many faculty members at UC San Diego, Gentry Patrick arrived on campus with sterling academic credentials: An undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship from Caltech.

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  • Oct 8 2015

    Evolution of Kangaroo-Like Jerboas Sheds Light on Limb Development

    With their tiny forelimbs and long hindlimbs and feet, jerboas are oddly proportioned creatures that look something like a pint-size cross between a kangaroo and the common mouse.

    How these 33 species of desert-dwelling rodents from Northern Africa and Asia evolved their remarkable limbs over the past 50 million years from a five-toed, quadrupedal ancestor shared with the modern mouse to the three-toed bipedal jerboa is detailed in a paper published in this week’s issue of the journal Current Biology.

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  • Jul 22 2015

    Resolving Social Conflict Is Key to Survival of Bacterial Communities

    Far from being selfish organisms whose sole purpose is to maximize their own reproduction, bacteria in large communities work for the greater good by resolving a social conflict among individuals to enhance the survival of their entire community.

    It turns out that, much like human societies, bacterial communities benefit when they can balance opposing needs within the group.

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  • Jun 22 2015

    Scientists Create Synthetic Membranes That Grow Like Living Cells

    Chemists and biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in designing and synthesizing an artificial cell membrane capable of sustaining continual growth, just like a living cell.

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  • Apr 24 2015

    Surfing into a Greener Future

    World’s first algae-based, sustainable surfboard produced by UC San Diego biology and chemistry students

    UC San Diego’s efforts to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental problems have resulted in a partnership with the region’s surfing industry to create the world’s first algae-based, sustainable surfboard.

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  • Mar 4 2015

    The Future of Neurosciences at UC San Diego

    Division of Biological Sciences Professors Darwin Berg and Nick Spitzer, Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, discuss the development of neuroscience research at UC San Diego, President Obama's BRAIN Initiative and the emerging field of “neurotechnology.”

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  • Aug 15 2014

    Quantitative Biology approach reveals importance of physical constraints on critical DNA interaction

    Joseph Lucas, a graduate student working with Cornelis Murre, a professor of biology at UC San Diego, tagged individual gene segments in live cells to track their movement in three dimensions.

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  • Jul 07 2014

    Why ‘Whispers’ Among Bees Sometimes Evolve Into ‘Shouts’

    Let’s say you’re a bee and you’ve spotted a new and particularly lucrative source of nectar and pollen. What’s the best way to communicate the location of this prize cache of food to the rest of your nestmates without revealing it to competitors, or “eavesdropping” spies, outside of the colony?

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  • image of plants distributing ABA
    Apr 15 2014

    Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone

    Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought.

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  • Library Walk filled with students
    Oct 10 2013

    New Dean Seeks to Improve Undergraduate Experience

    Biology majors and students taking undergraduate biology courses will see some new changes to improve the undergraduate experience this year, according to Dean Bill McGinnis.

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  • Scientist engineering algae
    Dec 10 2012

    Biologists Engineer Algae to Make Complex Anti-Cancer 'Designer' Drug

    Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in genetically engineering algae to produce a complex and expensive human therapeutic drug used to treat cancer.

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  • Scientists discussing HIV
    Sep 24 2012

    Discovery May Shed Light on Why Some HIV-Positive Patients Have More Virus

    Biologists at UC San Diego have unraveled the anti-viral mechanism of a human gene that may explain why some people infected with HIV have much higher amounts of virus in their bloodstreams than others.

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  • Scientist engineering algae
    Jul 12 2012

    Discovery of Chemical That Affects Biological Clock Offers New Way to Treat Diabetes

    Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes–a major public health concern in the United States due to the current obesity epidemic.

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  • Bees
    May 23 2012

    Commonly Used Pesticide Turns Honey Bees into 'Picky Eaters'

    Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that a small dose of a commonly used crop pesticide turns honey bees into "picky eaters" and affects their ability to recruit their nestmates to otherwise good sources of food.

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  • Scientists feed a baby vaccine
    May 16 2012

    UC San Diego Biologists Produce Potential Malarial Vaccine from Algae

    Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have succeeded in engineering algae to produce potential candidates for a vaccine that would prevent transmission of the parasite that causes malaria, an achievement that could pave the way for the development of an inexpensive way to protect billions of people from one of the world's most prevalent and debilitating diseases.

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  • Climate-change cones
    May 2 2012

    Study Shows Experiments Underestimate Plant Responses to Climate Change

    Experiments may dramatically underestimate how plants will respond to climate change in the future.

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  • Grad student studies roundworms
    Apr 12 2012

    Studies Reveal How Cells Distinguish Between Disease-Causing and Innocuous Invaders

    The specific mechanisms by which humans and other animals are able to discriminate between disease-causing microbes and innocuous ones in order to rapidly respond to infections have long been a mystery to scientists. But a study conducted on roundworms by biologists at UC San Diego has uncovered some important clues to finally answering that question.

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  • Biopixels
    Dec 18 2011

    Researchers Create Living 'Neon Signs' Composed of Millions of Glowing Bacteria

    In an example of life imitating art, biologists and bioengineers at UC San Diego have created a living neon sign composed of millions of bacterial cells that periodically fluoresce in unison like blinking light bulbs.

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  • Glowing roundworms
    Nov 17 2011

    Worms Reveal Secrets of Wound Healing Response

    The lowly and simple roundworm may be the ideal laboratory model to learn more about the complex processes involved in repairing wounds and could eventually allow scientists to improve the body's response to healing skin wounds, a serious problem in diabetics and the elderly.

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  • Ethan Bier
    Nov 3 2011

    Biologists Use Flies and Mice to Get to the Heart of Down Syndrome

    A novel study involving fruit flies and mice has allowed biologists to identify two critical genes responsible for congenital heart defects in individuals with Down syndrome, a major cause of infant mortality and death in people born with this genetic disorder.

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