Microorganisms in parched regions extract needed water from colonized rocks

Irvine, Calif., May 4, 2020 – In Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, microorganisms are able to eke out an existence by extracting water from the very rocks they colonize. Through work in the field and laboratory experiments, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, as well as Johns Hopkins University and UC Riverside, gained an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms by which some cyanobacteria survive in harsh surroundings.

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Ellen Druffel elected to National Academy of Sciences

Irvine, Calif., April 30, 2020 – University of California, Irvine chemical oceanographer and biogeochemist Ellen Druffel has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s most distinguished scientific organizations. One of 146 scientists from around the world to have been elected, Druffel researches the carbon cycle of the planet’s oceans and how humanity’s burning of fossil fuels affects that cycle.

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Milky Way could be catapulting stars into its outer halo, UCI astronomers say

Irvine, Calif., April 20, 2020 – Though mighty, the Milky Way and galaxies of similar mass are not without scars chronicling turbulent histories. University of California, Irvine astronomers and others have shown that clusters of supernovas can cause the birth of scattered, eccentrically orbiting suns in outer stellar halos, upending commonly held notions of how star systems have formed and evolved over billions of years.

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Repeated novel coronavirus media exposure may be linked to psychological distress

Irvine, Calif., March 23, 2020 – While government officials and news organizations work to communicate critical risk assessments and recommendations to the public during a health crisis such as the new coronavirus pandemic, a related threat may be emerging, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine: psychological distress resulting from repeated media exposure to the crisis.

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East Antarctica’s Denman Glacier has retreated almost 3 miles over last 22 years

Irvine, Calif., March 23, 2020 – East Antarctica’s Denman Glacier has retreated 5 kilometers, nearly 3 miles, in the past 22 years, and researchers at the University of California, Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are concerned that the shape of the ground surface beneath the ice sheet could make it even more susceptible to climate-driven collapse.

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Greenland shed ice at unprecedented rate in 2019; Antarctica continues to lose mass

Irvine, Calif., March 18, 2020 – During the exceptionally warm Arctic summer of 2019, Greenland lost 600 billion tons of ice, enough to raise global sea levels by 2.2 millimeters in two months. On the opposite pole, Antarctica continued to lose mass in the Amundsen Sea Embayment and Antarctic Peninsula but saw some relief in the form of increased snowfall in Queen Maud Land, in the eastern part of the continent.

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California’s strict air quality regulations help farmers prosper, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., March 16, 2020 – Farmers in California’s Central Valley are not known for their love of government regulations, but those same growers have seen a boost in the productivity of their high-value crops – and greater earnings – as a result of the Golden State’s strict air pollution controls. For a study published today in Nature Food, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38 percent of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts.

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No increase in crime under California’s ‘sanctuary state’ status, UCI study finds

Irvine, Calif., March 5, 2020 — The implementation of California Senate Bill 54 – which limits, but does not prohibit, state and local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities – did not cause an increase in crime, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Irvine. This is the first systematic analysis to be conducted on the impact of the measure since California’s “sanctuary state” status went into effect on Jan.

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UCI and Disney Research scientists develop AI-enhanced video compression model

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 18, 2020 – A new artificial intelligence-enhanced video compression model developed by computer scientists at the University of California, Irvine and Disney Research has demonstrated that deep learning can compete against established video compression technology. Unveiling their work in December at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems in Vancouver, British Columbia, the UCI/Disney Research team members showed that their compressor – while still in an early phase – yielded less distortion and significantly smaller bits-per-pixel rates than classical coding-decoding algorithms such as H.

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