The CNAS Report, March 2014

report_bannerMARCH 2014

Manuela Martins-GreenThird-hand smoke shown to cause health problems

A study led by Cell Biology and Neuroscience Professor Manuela Martins-Green shows that third-hand smoke causes hyperactivity as well as significant damage in the liver and lungs; it also delays healing of wounds. MORE

Edie Allen

Air pollution in the Santa Monica Mountains is harming native plants and increasing fire risk

Initial results from experiments conducted in the Santa Monica Mountains by Edith B. Allen, professor of plant ecology in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, and her colleagues indicate that high levels of nitrogen may adversely impact native plants and, by extension, increase the risk of wildfire. MORE

Brian SienaHubble unveils a deep sea of small and faint early galaxies

A team of scientists led by Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Brian Siena has used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to uncover the long-suspected underlying population of galaxies that produced the bulk of new stars during the universe’s early years. The galaxies are the smallest, faintest, and most numerous galaxies ever seen in the remote universe, and were captured by Hubble deep exposures taken in ultraviolet light. MORE

Argentine antsNovel “attract-and-kill” approach could help tackle Argentine ants

After being inadvertently introduced in the United States from South America, Argentine ants have successfully invaded urban, agricultural, and natural settings nationwide.  In urban California, the Argentine ant is among the primary pest ants. Dong-Hwan Choe, assistant professor of entomology, and his team have now developed a “pheromone-assisted technique” as an economically viable approach to maximize the efficacy of conventional sprays targeting the invasive Argentine ant. MORE

Ray and mosquitoesHow mosquitoes are drawn to human skin and breath

Female mosquitoes, which can transmit deadly diseases like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus and filariasis, are attracted to us by smelling the carbon dioxide we exhale. But once they get close to us, they often steer away toward exposed areas such as ankles and feet, being drawn there by skin odors. Why does the mosquito change its track and fly towards skin?  How does it detect our skin?  What are the odors from skin that it detects? And can we block the mosquito skin odor sensors and reduce attractiveness? MORE

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Right Now Post-ItCNAS develops a unique ecological institute, to be led by the holder of the new W.W. Mayhew Endowed Chair in GeoEcology

Global climate and environmental change, and the resulting degradation of ecosystems, pose some of the most serious issues facing society today. While there is consensus among scientists that such change is happening, the coordinated interdisciplinary approach that would point toward solutions is largely missing. CNAS will be filling this gap with a proposed new Ecosystem Dynamics and GeoEcology (EDGE) Institute. MORE

Boyce and Webber Halls receive a major facelift

During February 2014, renovations of the 3rd floor of Webber Hall and of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors of the western wing of Boyce Hall, together with their infrastructures, were completed and opened for Biochemistry and Plant Pathology & Microbiology faculty. The renovations involved the complete gutting of these floors and installation of modern open-plan laboratories, support rooms, conference rooms, and faculty offices. The final stage of renovations will commence on the 4th and 5th floors of the eastern wing of Boyce Hall, to be completed in January 2015. These renovations will provide about 96,000 ASF of renovated laboratory, office, and support space.

CNAS is looking for 35 good men and women

Thirty-five faculty recruitments are under way in CNAS, spanning the agricultural, earth, environmental, life, and physical sciences. Three additional searches are in process for Cooperative Extension Specialists in nematology, plant pathology, and weed science. The college looks forward to continuing growth in faculty numbers over the next several years, allowing it to keep pace with enrollment increases as well as to expand and strengthen its research.

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Dean of the college: Marylynn V. Yates
Divisional deans: Jodie S. Holt, Peter W. Atkinson, Cynthia K. Larive, Michael A. McKibben
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