Skip to content Skip to navigation

News

Infrared heaters are suspended from scaffolding surrounding heated plots in the alpine tundra. Photo courtesy of Andrew B. Moyes
Scientists expect subalpine trees to advance upslope as global temperatures increase, following their climate up the mountains. But new research publishedOpens a New Window. Dec. 15 in the journal Global Change Biology suggests this might not hold true for two subalpine tree species of western North America. A study led by project scientist Lara Kueppers, affiliated with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, shows Engelmann spruce might not move to higher elevations as temperatures rise. Its lower-elevation boundary...
There are 1.7 million multidrug-resistant, hospital-acquired infections that extend hospital stays, increase medical expenses and decrease quality of life. The United States alone reports at least 120,000 deaths annually from resistant infections that are improperly treated because of a scarcity of reliable antibiotics.  But a new study shows that not only can hospitals be breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they are also important in stopping the evolution of resistant bacteria. In a paper published...
UC Merced professors Jessica Blois and Justin Yeakel and their graduate students are sifting through time, picking out tiny clues that will give them a mouse’s eye view of the ecosystem that surrounded what is now the La Brea Tar Pits in the middle of Los Angeles.   A deeper look into the past could also help better understand the future. There’s a growing recognition of climate change threats, and many scientists make predictions about how plants and animals will fare. But those forecasts often...
Congratulations to the following graduate students for being awarded the Spring 2017 School of Natural Sciences Dean's Distinguished Scholars Fellowship! These individuals are being recognized for their contributions in research, engagement in the STEM community, outstanding academic record, and their help to diversify our graduate programs. Lasith Adhikari - Applied Mathematics Anusha Madushani - Applied Mathermatics Joel Heisler - Chemistry and Chemical Biology Mekena Metcalf - Physics Katherine Copenhagen - Physics Kinsey...
It’s not just luck or practice that gets Sherpa mountaineers up the slopes of Mt. Everest each year. Functioning so well at extreme elevations is in the Sherpa and Tibetan DNA — literally. A new study by UC Merced Professor Emilia Huerta-Sánchez — published recently in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution — shows that between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homosapiens interbred, and modern humans got an evolutionary advantage because of it. Hybrid...
If fictional scientist Victor Frankenstein had created a mate for his nameless Creature, humans would have gone extinct in about 4,000 years, according to a new study co-authored by a UC Merced professor. Two hundred years ago this year, 18-year-old author Mary Shelley began writing her now-classic horror novel and cautionary tale about the idea of playing God. Scholars who typically examine the book from a literary perspective have focused on Shelley's knowledge of then-prevailing views on alchemy, physiology and resurrection...
New assistant professor in physics, David Strubbe gave an interview in Spanish about the physics conference "7th Time-Dependent Density-Functional Theory: Prospects and Applications," which he attended in Benasque, Spain in September. Professor Strubbe was an instructor for the school as well as an invited speaker for a workshop. Time-dependent density-functional theory is a theoretical technique for solving the equations of quantum mechanics, typically used for studying interactions of light with materials or molecules. ...
Adjunct Professor Gabriela LootsOpens a New Window. is studying why certain cancers prefer to metastasize to bone, using novel technology developed by fellow UC Merced Professor Michael Cleary. Her work, which takes place mainly at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, earned her a three-year, $768,803 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.  “Once these kinds of cancer reach the bone, they form very aggressive tumors,” said Loots, a bone biologist. “We want to know what it is about the...
Fifty years ago this year, while a freshman faculty member in the University of Chicago Physics Department, Roland Winston published a paper introducing a new field he called nonimaging optics. In it, he described the compound parabolic concentrator (CPC), a highly efficient device that collects and concentrates light, and introduced “Winston Cones,” non-imaging light collectors that by their design maximize the amount of light that can be focused from large areas into smaller photodetectors or photomultipliers...
Professor Anna Beaudin is just starting up her lab at UC Merced, but a paper she recently published already has some big implications for understanding autoimmune disease, allergies and rejection of transplanted organs. A developmental biologist with the School of Natural Sciences and an affiliate of the Health Sciences Research Institute, Beaudin studies how hematopoietic, or blood, stem cells are established during fetal development and how they give rise to the cells that make up our immune system.  ...

Pages