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School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Lorena Anderson

‘Molecular LEGO’ Study Analyzes Building Blocks of Partially Disordered Protein

Bioengineering Professor Victor Muñoz and his lab have created a new way to solve some of the mysteries among an increasingly important class of proteins that don’t appear to have any specific structures but serve very important functions, including the complex genetic processes that separate high-order organisms from single-cell bacteria.

They call it “molecular LEGO,” pulling the proteins apart and rebuilding them, segment by segment.

Bioengineers Work on New Technology to Look Deep Inside Living Tissue and Tumors

Bioengineering Professor Changqing Li is building a high-resolution CT imaging scanner that will allow scientists to study and understand how oxygen plays a role in cancer therapy and stem cells growing in deep tissue such as bone marrow, and possibly develop new advances to culture stem cells outside the body and therapeutics to control tumor growth.

NSF Award Goes to Research into Brain Formation and What Leads to Developmental Disorders

Professor Xuecai Ge, a developmental neurobiologist, has received a CAREER award for research to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms that direct brain formation, and how errors in cell signaling lead to developmental disorders.

Ge is the 31st number researcher from UC Merced to earn a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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.”

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.

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