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Research News from UC San Diego
Updated: 2 hours 45 min ago

Two Missing World War II B-25 Bombers Documented by Project Recover Off Papua New Guinea

6 hours 4 min ago

Two B-25 bombers associated with American servicemen missing in action from World War II were recently documented in the waters off Papua New Guinea

Intestinal Fungi Worsen Alcoholic Liver Disease

Mon, 2017-05-22 13:00

Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of mortality worldwide and approximately half of those deaths are due to alcohol abuse. Yet apart from alcohol abstinence, there are no specific treatments to reduce the severity of alcohol-associated liver disease. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) have linked intestinal fungi to increased risk of death for patients with alcohol-related liver disease.

Researchers Find Computer Code that Volkswagen Used to Cheat Emissions Tests

Mon, 2017-05-22 10:20

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent U.S. and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car’s onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test. The computer then activated the car’s emission-curbing systems, reducing the amount of pollutants emitted. Once the computer determined that the test was over, these systems were deactivated.

Student-Run Free Clinic Project at UC San Diego Honored by American Psychiatric Association

Mon, 2017-05-22 10:00

On Sunday, May 21, the Student Run Free Clinic Project at UC San Diego was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for excellence in caring for the community. For two decades, the Student-Run Free Clinic Project has helped people of all ages and circumstances access high-quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay. The project assists community members with a range of critical health services, including psychiatric care.

National Study Looks at Tobacco Advertising and Susceptibility to Use Tobacco Among Youth

Sun, 2017-05-21 21:01

Among 12- to 17-year-olds who have never used tobacco products, nearly half were considered receptive to tobacco marketing if they were able to recall or liked at least one advertisement, report researchers at University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center and Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, in a new national study. Receptivity to tobacco ads is associated with an increased susceptibility to smoking cigarettes in the future.

UC San Diego Engineer Talks Tech with Congressional Staff in Washington, D.C.

Fri, 2017-05-19 06:48

UC San Diego electrical engineering professor Patrick Mercier met with staff members working for representatives for San Diego County and for California Senator Dianne Feinstein at an event on Capitol Hill, where he showcased wearable technologies that have the potential to revolutionize access to health care. 

UC San Diego VC Partner Osage Invests in Antiva

Thu, 2017-05-18 14:28

Antiva Biosciences, a spinout of UC San Diego, closed a $22M Series C financing in March. Antiva is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, localized therapeutics for the treatment of diseases caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection. Osage University Partners, a venture capital firm partnered with UC San Diego that invests exclusively in startups that are commercializing university research, invested in this round.

3D-printed Soft Four Legged Robot Can Walk on Sand and Stone

Wed, 2017-05-17 13:13

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first soft robot that is capable of walking on rough surfaces, such as sand and pebbles. The 3D-printed, four-legged robot can climb over obstacles and walk on different terrains. Researchers led by Michael Tolley, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of California San Diego, will present the robot at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation from May 29 to June 3 in Singapore. The robot could be used to capture sensor readings in dangerous environments or for search and rescue.

UC San Diego Researchers Discover Human Burials and Artifacts in Ancient Mycenaean Tomb

Wed, 2017-05-17 12:25

The field researchers also collected paleo-environmental data concerning climate and environmental change during the Late Bronze Age.

UC San Diego Chemists Create the Ultimate Natural Sunscreen

Wed, 2017-05-17 05:00

Chemists, materials scientists and nanoengineers at UC San Diego have created what may be the ultimate natural sunscreen. In a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Central Science, they report the development of nanoparticles that mimic the behavior of natural melanosomes, melanin-producing cell structures that protect our skin, eyes and other tissues from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Don’t Count on Your Chickens Counting

Tue, 2017-05-16 08:00

Arguing against the current conventional wisdom – that there is an evolved capacity for number and arithmetic that we share with other species – Rafael Nunez says numerical cognition is not biologically endowed.

Rise of Aggressive Reef Predator From Overfishing May Impede Sea Urchin Recovery, Study Finds

Mon, 2017-05-15 14:40

A new study suggests that an aggressive reef competitor—the Threespot Damselfish—may have impeded the recovery of Caribbean long-spined sea urchin populations after a mysterious disease outbreak caused a massive die-off of these animals over three decades ago.

Nano Fiber Feels Forces and Hears Sounds Made by Cells

Mon, 2017-05-15 08:00

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a miniature device that’s sensitive enough to feel the forces generated by swimming bacteria and hear the beating of heart muscle cells.

More Natural Dust Improves Air Quality in Eastern China

Thu, 2017-05-11 14:47

Man-made pollution in eastern China’s cities worsens when less dust blows in from the Gobi Desert, according to a new study published May 11 in Nature Communications. That’s because dust plays an important role in determining air temperature and thereby promotes winds to blow away man-made pollution. Less dust means the air stagnates, with man-made pollution becoming more concentrated and sticking around longer.

MAGNET Study Sees Potential for MRE in Measuring Liver Fibrosis in Children

Thu, 2017-05-11 13:24

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators across the nation, have determined that magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) can be an accurate, non-invasive tool to identify liver fibrosis in children. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease in children, and scarring of the liver, known as fibrosis, is a major determinant of clinical outcomes.

Bioengineering Professor Christian Metallo Receives 2017 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Thu, 2017-05-11 09:15

Christian Metallo, a bioengineering professor at the University of California San Diego, has been named a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. Metallo is one of 13 faculty members nationwide to receive the honor from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

Biological Activity Found to Affect Aerosols Produced from Sea Spray

Thu, 2017-05-11 09:00

Chemists have discovered that tiny particulate matter called aerosols lofted into the atmosphere by sea spray and the bursting of bubbles at the ocean’s surface are chemically altered by the presence of biological activity.

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

Thu, 2017-05-11 08:00

A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego-led research team 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.

Interest in Campus Virtual Reality Club Reaches All-Time High

Thu, 2017-05-11 07:08

As president of the student-run Virtual Reality Club at UC San Diego, Connor Smith says VR interest is at an all-time high among undergraduate students at UC San Diego. “We were lucky to see anyone here in the lab before winter quarter,” added Smith. “Now, we’re absolutely packed much of the time, and membership will continue surging, particularly from students enrolled in VR courses who get hooked on VR development.”

Giving Students a Place to Prep for Tomorrow’s Virtual (Reality) Economy

Thu, 2017-05-11 07:00

The laboratory looks like a cross between a classroom and a tech pavilion at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There are virtual-reality headsets everywhere, and large flat screen 3D displays. College students work at computers, while teammates wearing goggles look from side to side, occasionally ducking or recoiling, as they react and engage with the virtual environments visible in their head-mounted displays.