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Study Finds Bacteria Living in Marine Sponge Produce Toxic Flame Retardant-Like Compounds

A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego-led research team, along with scientists in the UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences, discovered for the first time that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that specialize in the production of toxic compounds nearly identical to man-made fire retardants

Measuring the Impact of a Changing Climate on Threatened Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

A study published May 11 in PLOS ONE focused on modeling the diets of grizzly bears in Cooke City Basin, Montana, part of an area designated as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Evidence from the team’s research in the study area and a recent habitat-selection study by Montana State University indicates that grizzly bears continue to forage for whitebark pine seeds as a diet staple. Diet proportions derived from isotopic data, however, suggest that some bears could be responding to reductions in whitebark trees by consuming more plants and berries.

Q&A with Heather Henter, Academic Coordinator, UC San Diego Natural Reserve System

The UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) is a network of 39 (soon to be 40) largely undisturbed properties across the state, set aside to fulfill the mission of the UC: education, research and public service. We are different from state/national parks or other wild lands because we are part of a university, thus research and education are a focus. These sites are living laboratories for researchers and classrooms without walls for students. And because we are a system, we can address important topics like climate change ecosystem-wide. The network includes most habitats in the state, from coast to desert to alpine.

Biology Students Receive Five Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Three honorable mentions also garnered in nationwide competition

Five students from UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences have been named award recipients in the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The program, which offers fellowships to applicants selected through a national competition, named 2,000 winners this year.

Additionally, three Division of Biological Sciences students were recognized with honorable mentions. Alumni of the Division garnered five awards and six honorable mentions.

Scientists Complete First EPA-Approved Outdoor Field Trial for Genetically Engineered Algae

Experiment pushes toward the promise of algae as a clean, renewable food and fuel source

Scientists at the University of California San Diego and Sapphire Energy have successfully completed the first outdoor field trial sanctioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for genetically engineered algae.

Common Pesticide Damages Honey Bee’s Ability to Fly, Research Finds

Study provides the first evidence that a broadly used pesticide alone can harm bee flight

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time that a widely used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly, raising concerns about how pesticides affect their capacity to pollinate and the long-term effects on the health of honey bee colonies.

In Memoriam, Gordon H. Sato, 1927-2017

Professor Gordon H. Sato, a pioneer in understanding the protein growth factors that allowed mammalian cells to grow in tissue culture, died at the age of 89 on March 31.

James Kadonaga Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Molecular biologist becomes new member of prestigious society

Three faculty members of the University of California San Diego, including molecular biologist James Kadonaga, have been elected to the  American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the country’s most esteemed honorary societies and independent policy research centers.

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.

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.

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 — Professor Carrie Partch in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz and Professor Susan Golden in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego — 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.

Sergey Kryazhimskiy Named 2017 Sloan Research Fellow

Sergey Kryazhimskiy, an assistant professor of biology, in the Division’s Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution is one of six-early career faculty members at UC San Diego who have won prestigious 2017 Sloan Research Fellowships for achievements that mark them as the nation’s future leaders in science and technology.

In Memoriam: Jonathan Singer 1924-2017

Jonathan Singer, one of the first members of the biology faculty at UC San Diego who helped build the campus into a world leader in molecular and cell biology, died on February 2 in La Jolla, CA. He was 92.

UC San Diego Biologists Unlock Code Regulating Most Human Genes

Molecular biologists at UC San Diego have unlocked the code that initiates transcription and regulates the activity of more than half of all human genes, an achievement that should provide scientists with a better understanding of how human genes are turned on and off.

Study Shows Signs of Hope for Endangered Sea Turtles

Bones from dead turtles washed up on Mexican beaches indicate that Baja California is critical to the survival of endangered North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles, which travel some 7,500 miles from their nesting sites in Japan to their feeding grounds off the coast of Mexico.

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.

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.


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