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Before you place any bets on the next NBA playoff games, take a look at UC Merced Professor Harish Bhat’s Twitter account.   He’s tweeting daily predictions based on an innovative new algorithm, and so far this postseason, he’s right about 80 percent of the time.   In about 10 minutes a day, Bhat and two of his students run simulations for each team in each day’s matchup between 10,000 and 100,000 times before tweeting their predictions. The calculations take about 10 minutes.   “We could...
Researchers at the University of California, Merced, won a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how biological matter like proteins or cells come together to perform specific tasks, effectively behaving as machines. The research — funded over five years through the NSF’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program — could help researchers design and develop innovations ranging from designer cells and tissue to novel diagnostic and therapeutic devices....
Professor Michael Beman, with the School of Natural Sciences, became the 13th faculty member to win a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award since the campus opened.   The grant provides nearly $700,000 over the next five years to help the UC Merced life sciences professor further his studies of oceanic hypoxic and anoxic (low- and no-oxygen) “dead zones.”   “There are microbes that can consume the oxygen all the way down to zero, and it appears there are some organisms...
If you want to understand how plant populations will respond as the climate changes, just examine the plants in different locations.   That’s one of the conclusions drawn by UC Merced School of Natural Sciences Professor Jason Sexton in a new paper that’s part of a special issue of the American Journal of Botany exploring the evolution of plants.   Written by Sexton and graduate student Erin Dickman, “What Can Local and Geographic Population Limits Tell Us about Distributions?” looks at different...
Professor Carolin Frank’s research into the nitrogen-fixing properties of bacteria inside the needles of some high-elevation pine trees is the topic of a new paper in the journal New Phytologist.   Frank, with the School of Natural Sciences, won a $1.6 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2014 for her work on foliar endophytes.   “Evidence for Foliar Endophytic Nitrogen Fixation in a Widely Distributed Subalpine Conifer” is the first publication to come from that research....
Graduate student Sabah Ul-Hasan translated her love of science into four separate college degrees. She holds bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, and environmental and sustainability studies, and a master’s in biochemistry (marine science) from universities in Utah and New Hampshire.   Ul-Hasan, a Ph.D. Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow in Quantitative and Systems Biology at UC Merced, is working on a documentary series called BIOTA, which unites art and science and applies them to social justice issues. The documentary project...
Even without all the industrial and technological growth that has accelerated climate change, humans can — and do — dramatically impact ecosystems.   A new paper in Nature Communications, co-authored by UC Merced Professor Marilyn Fogel, indicates early humans were responsible for the fairly rapid extinction of the 10-foot-tall flightless bird Genyornis newtoni in Australia about 47,000 years ago, simply through hunting and the interruption of reproduction.   In “Human Predation Contributed to the Extinction of...
In Fall 2007, Maricela Rangel-Garcia became one of the first UC Merced students to sign up for a new, non-clinical volunteer program in the busy Mercy Medical Center Emergency Department (ED).   Her participation in what has become a vital and growing program cemented her career path.    “I decided to volunteer because I wanted general experience with doctors and patients,” said Rangel-Garcia, a Clovis resident who graduated in 2009 with a degree in biological sciences. “The program was a great way to gain...
Less than a year after mapping the genetic landscape of melanoma, a researcher from the University of California, Merced, has identified a drug that could be effective in battling the deadly skin cancer.   UC Merced Professor Fabian V. Filipp led a team of researchers on the new project, the results of which were published today (Feb. 29) in the journal Neoplasia.   Filipp’s previous study used data from The Cancer Genome Atlas — which includes DNA sequences from 471 melanoma patients and more than 12,000 cancer...
Professor Anne Myers Kelley, with the School of Natural Sciences, has been elected vice-chair of the Division of Laser Science (DLS) of the American Physical Society (APS), the world's largest organization of physicists.   Kelley, one of the first faculty members to join the campus in 2003, is with the Chemistry and Chemical Biology group in her school. She will serve as vice-chair until October, then move into the positions of chair-elect, chair and past chair, each for one year.   “It’s a very nice honor from my...

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