The CNAS Report, June 2014

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Yadong Yin and sensorNew revolutionary sensor links pressure to color change

Imagine an automobile crash test that uses test dummies painted all over with a substance that can change color according to the levels of stress that various parts of the dummies’ bodies will endure.  Such a “color map” could provide vital information to engineers designing safer automobiles.
New technology developed at the University of California, Riverside may now make the above and similar ideas a reality.  Indeed, the technology could be applied to improve everyday devices, such as smartphones, that for operation rely on the right amount of pressure applied to them.

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Malaria parasite, Karine Le Roch

Scientists generate 3D structure for the malaria parasite genome

A research team led by a cell biologist at the University of California, Riverside has generated a 3D model of the human malaria parasite genome at three different stages in the parasite’s life cycle — the first time such 3D architecture has been generated during the progression of the life cycle of a parasite.

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Bighorn sheep, Doug Wilder

Bighorn sheep went extinct on desert island, study finds

Using ancient DNA analysis and other techniques, a research team led by conservation biologists at the University of California, Riverside has determined that bighorn sheep, so named for their massive spiral horns, became extinct on Tiburón Island, a large and mostly uninhabited island just off Sonora, Mexico, in the Gulf of California, sometime in the last millennium — specifically between the 6th and 19th centuries.

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La Nina and Bob Allen

Climatologists offer explanation for widening of tropical belt

Recent studies have shown that the Earth’s tropical belt — demarcated, roughly, by the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn — has progressively expanded since at least the late 1970s. Several explanations for this widening have been proposed, such as radiative forcing due to greenhouse gas increase and stratospheric ozone depletion.

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Green anole lizardMotion and muscles don’t always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study

Animals “do the locomotion” every day, whether it’s walking down the hall to get some coffee or darting up a tree to avoid a predator. And until now, scientists believed the inner workings of movement were pretty much the same — the nerves send a message to the muscles and there is motion.

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For more news about CNAS research, visit our News Archive.

You can also find our previous CNAS Reports from our Report Archive.

Right Now Post-ItTen CNAS graduate students win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Ten of the eighteen graduate students at UC Riverside who received Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFs) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) this year are in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. The highly competitive fellowships are awarded to individuals early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science.

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Connor Richards
Driven to high-energy excellence

Listening to Connor Richards, one might easily mistake him for a graduate student.  His grasp on high energy physics is solid, his explanations of abstruse concepts in particle physics both clear and complete. But Richards is a second-year undergraduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCR and has just won a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, considered to be the most prestigious undergraduate award given in the sciences, with only about 300 students nationwide earning one each year.

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Pavneet Kaur and Mike McKibben CNAS student, divisional dean lobby Congress for NSF funding

Pavneet Kaur, third-year student in Biology, and CNAS Divisional Dean Michael McKibben stand in front of the U.S. Capitol, prior to advocating to Congress for support of the National Science Foundation. The two accompanied UCR Director of Federal Relations Kaitlin Chell to Washington for the advocacy effort May 6-8 as part of an effort sponsored by the UC Office of the President. Pavneet spoke to congressional representatives and their staff about the importance of the CNAS Learning Communities, a first-year science student support program that has recently received NSF funding.

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The CNAS Report is published each quarter by the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. For questions or comments, or to remove yourself from the mailing list, contact the editor, sara.clausen@ucr.edu.
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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