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New Genetic Method Promises to Advance Gene Research and Control Insect Pests

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new method for generating mutations in both copies of a gene in a single generation that could rapidly accelerate genetic research on diverse species and provide scientists with a powerful new tool to control insect borne diseases such as malaria as well as animal and plant pests.

Meeting on ‘Green Revolution 2.0’ Draws Researchers and New Ideas

When students ask Stephen Mayfield what to do when they graduate—what sort of career would provide them with a decent income, expanding professional opportunities and a chance to give back to society—the UC San Diego biology professor is quick to respond.

“Work on the next Green Revolution,” he says.

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.”

Training the Next Generation of San Diego Biologists

More than 40 students studying biotechnology at Castle Park High School’s Science Innovation Academy in Chula Vista came to campus to experience how biologists do research—as well as to learn what it takes to actually become a scientist.

Their recent visit, arranged by emeritus professor of biology Maarten Chrispeels and Castle Park biology and biotechnology teachers Megan Grupe and Darci Kimball, was sponsored by Biological Sciences Dean Bill McGinnis and filmed by a television crew for CBS Channel 8, which will soon broadcast the segment as part of its Innovate 8 series on local STEM education programs.

A Blind Date with Science

Complex ideas in science need to be conveyed with precision. Yet most scientists also believe the public needs to understand the details, without personal opinions or emotion, so that people can draw their own conclusions based on facts.

Emmy Award-winning actor and director Alan Alda thinks that’s wrong. And he came to campus last week to convince senior administrators and young scientists to do it differently.

Study Sheds Light on What Causes Cells to Divide

When a rapidly-growing cell divides into two smaller cells, what triggers the split? Is it the size the growing cell eventually reaches? Or is the real trigger the time period over which the cell keeps growing ever larger?

A novel study published online today in the journal Current Biology has finally provided an answer to this long unsolved conundrum. And it’s not what many biologists expected.

York Hall Science Labs Get $6.5 Million Makeover to Help Students Graduate in Four Years

Four undergraduate teaching laboratories for biology and chemistry students have undergone a $6.5 million makeover as part of implementation of the UC San Diego Strategic Plan. The renovated labs in York Hall will eliminate a key barrier to students accessing impacted laboratory science courses—making it easier for them to graduate in four years.

Julian Schroeder Elected President of American Society of Plant Biologists

Julian Schroeder, a distinguished professor of biology and co-director of UC San Diego Center for Food and Fuel for the 21st Century, has been elected named president of the American Society of Plant Biologists, a professional society of 5,000 members devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences. He began his one-year term of service on October 1.

Moderate Levels of ‘Free Radicals’ Found Beneficial to Healing Wounds

Long assumed to be destructive to tissues and cells, “free radicals” generated by the cell’s mitochondria—the energy producing structures in the cell—are actually beneficial to healing wounds.

That’s the conclusion of biologists at UC San Diego who discovered that “reactive oxygen species”—chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, such as peroxides, commonly referred to as free radicals—are necessary for the proper healing of skin wounds in the laboratory roundworm C. elegans.

Brain Trust

UC San Diego bolsters reputation as top neuroscience research center with more than $10 million in new federal grants

President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, a federal research effort designed to help researchers answer fundamental questions about how the brain works, has in recent months awarded scientists at UC San Diego with more than $10 million in grants, cementing the campus’s reputation as one of the world’s top centers for neuroscience research.

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