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Evidence-Based Solutions for Central California

Lorena Anderson

USDA Grant Supports Diverse Ag-related Learning and Training for Students

Students at UC Merced and those who might someday become Bobcats are the focus of FARMERS, Professor Rudy M. Ortiz’s training program funded again for $1 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

FARMERS stands for Facilitating Agriculture-Related Mentoring for Emerging Research Scholars, and the goal is to train 15 undergraduate and 10 graduate students a year over the next four years to conduct in-depth research into agriculture-related subjects.

NSF Grant to Help Grad Students Find Solutions to Environmental Challenges

Graduate students and a convergence of physics, engineering and environmental science could result in not only the next generation of solutions to pressing environmental challenges, but a new group of diverse and globally competitive nano-engineers, as well.

A nearly $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will train about 200 graduate students over the next five years as they learn and work to develop nano-sensors to better manage resources.

HIV Preventative Developed in LiWang Lab Takes One Big Step Forward

An HIV-inhibiting silk film designed to advance prevention and help end the AIDS epidemic in countries in Africa, developed by UC Merced Professor Patti LiWang, has met recent success at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis.

“They show complete protection,” LiWang said. “The films worked perfectly on the macaques at Davis.”

Scientists Assemble a Biological Clock in a Test Tube to Study How It Works

Daily cycles in virtually every aspect of our physiology are driven by biological clocks (also called circadian clocks) in our cells. The cyclical interactions of clock proteins keep the biological rhythms of life in tune with the daily cycle of night and day, and this happens not only in humans and other complex animals but even in simple, single-celled organisms such as cyanobacteria.

Researchers Unraveling Mysteries of Electrosensory Gel in Sharks, Skates

Cartilaginous fishes such as sharks and skates have a sixth sense, but it’s not ESP — it’s electrosense. Such fishes use hundreds or thousands of specialized organs to sense prey and mates and to navigate the oceans.

A cross-disciplinary group of researchers at UC Merced is making new discoveries about the fundamental structure of the organs and how this structure may provide clues as to how this sixth sense works.

Chemistry Lab Receives NSF Funding to Study How Proteins Protect from Dehydration

Like many people this summer, Professor Shahar Sukenik has dehydration on his mind.

But it’s not the soaring outside temperatures prompting this focus. Dehydration has been a theme of his lab’s work for the past year, from understanding how seeds know when to germinate to a new grant to further knowledge about the proteins that help protect cells and organisms against irreversible drying.

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