Tag Archives: university of california

In ancient fish teeth, a tale of ecological resilience

Microscopic fish teeth may carry a message of hope from an ecological upheaval in the distant past, scientists at Yale University and the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) have found.

An analysis of tooth fossils and shark scales from the sea floor indicates that a massive die-off of species 66 million years ago did not, in fact, leave uniformly dead oceans around the world. In the Pacific Ocean, at least, some small fish species actually flourished. (more…)

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Blunting rice disease

UD researchers aim to disarm a ‘cereal killer’

A fungus that kills an estimated 30 percent of the world’s rice crop may finally have met its match, thanks to a research discovery made by scientists at the University of Delaware and the University of California at Davis. (more…)

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West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable

A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.

The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica “have passed the point of no return,” according to glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot, of UC Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The new study has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Taichi Suzuki, Evolutionary Biologist

Taichi Suzuki, an Evolutionary Biologist, is currently involved in PhD program in Integrative Biology at the University of California Berkeley. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Nihon University in Japan and completed Master’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona. He is also associated with Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley.

So, let’s join Mr. Suzuki to our latest round of interviews on ‘Life as research scientist’:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Taichi Suzuki: My research topic is focused on ‘Host associated microbial ecology’. I am interested in understanding how symbiotic microbial community affects host (e.g. animals) health and evolution. I found correlation between obese-associated gut microbial community composition and geography (i.e. latitude). (more…)

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Obesity-Related Gut Bacteria Higher in People in Northern Climes

People living in northern latitudes have more gut bacteria linked to obesity compared with people living in southern latitudes, a new study has found.

People living in cold, northern latitudes have bacteria in their guts that may predispose them to obesity, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of California, Berkeley. (more…)

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Puzzling Question in Bacterial Immune System Answered

Berkeley Researchers Uncover the Key to Self-Awareness in Genome Editor

A central question has been answered regarding a protein that plays an essential role in the bacterial immune system and is fast becoming a valuable tool for genetic engineering. A team of researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have determined how the bacterial enzyme known as Cas9, guided by RNA, is able to identify and degrade foreign DNA during viral infections, as well as induce site-specific genetic changes in animal and plant cells. Through a combination of single-molecule imaging and bulk biochemical experiments, the research team has shown that the genome-editing ability of Cas9 is made possible by the presence of short DNA sequences known as “PAM,” for protospacer adjacent motif. (more…)

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Discovery spotlights key role of mystery RNA modification in cells

Researchers had known for several decades that a certain chemical modification exists on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), which is essential to the flow of genetic information. But only recently did experiments at the University of Chicago show that one major function of this modification governs the longevity and decay of RNA, a process critical to the development of healthy cells.

The chemical modification on mRNA in question is called N6-methyladenosine (m6A). A recent study by UChicago scientists reveals how the m6A modification on mRNA could affect the half-life of mRNA that in turn regulates cellular protein quantities. That discovery could provide fundamental insights into healthy functioning and disorders such as obesity, diabetes and infertility. (more…)

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Intimate yeast: Mating and meiosis

Mating and meiosis – the specialized cell division that reduces the number of chromosomes in a cell – are related, but in most yeasts they are regulated separately. Not so in Candida lusitaniae, where the two programs work in unison, according to a new study in Nature. Comparison with other species suggests that this fusion may support C. lusitaniae’s “haploid lifestyle” of maintaining only one set of chromosomes in each cell.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — From a biological point of view, the world’s most exotic sex lives may be the ones lived by fungi. As a kingdom, they are full of surprises, and a new one reported in the journal Nature seems sure to titillate the intellects of those who study the evolution of mating and ploidy, the complement of chromosomes in each cell. (more…)

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