California’s carbon mitigation efforts may be thwarted by climate change itself

Irvine, Calif., July 22, 2021 – To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California’s policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem’s ability to perform this service.

UCI scientists make X-ray vision-like camera to rapidly retrieve 3D images

Irvine, Calif., July 21, 2021 — It’s not exactly X-ray vision, but it’s close. In research published in the journal Optica, University of California, Irvine researchers describe a new type of camera technology that, when aimed at an object, can rapidly retrieve 3D images, displaying its chemical content down to the micrometer scale.

Increased use of household fireworks creates a public health hazard, UCI study finds

Irvine, Calif., June 29, 2021 – Fireworks are synonymous in the United States with the celebration of Independence Day and other special events, but the colorful displays have caused a growing risk to public safety in recent years, according to a study by environmental health researchers at the University of California, Irvine.

UCI professor wins Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias award for scientific research

Irvine, Calif., June 24, 2021 — Philip Felgner, Ph.D., professor in residence of physiology & biophysics at the University of California, Irvine, is one of seven scholars worldwide to win Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research in recognition of their contributions to designing COVID-19 vaccines.

UCI-led study finds that cancer immunotherapy may self-limit its efficacy

Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 — Cancer immunotherapy involving drugs that inhibit CTLA-4 also activates an unwanted response that may self-limit its efficacy in fighting tumors, according to a new study led by Francesco Marangoni, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology & biophysics and member of the Institute for Immunology at the University of California, Irvine.

UCI-led meta-analysis identifies hypertension medications that help ward off memory loss

Irvine, Calif., June  21, 2021 — A large-scale meta-analysis led by University of California, Irvine researchers provides the strongest evidence yet of which blood pressure medications help slow memory loss in older adults: those that can travel out of blood vessels and directly into the brain. The findings, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, will be of interest to the 91 million Americans whose blood pressure is high enough to warrant medication, as well as the doctors who treat them.

Beyond Zoom: Virtual reality classrooms

Cristina Lopes, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of informatics, sits in a courtyard waiting as her students slowly trickle into class. In front of them is a series of large objects: the topic of today’s lecture. Lopes reaches out and touches a yellow cylinder floating in front of her, and the object is instantly replaced with a complex line of code.

What’s next: The ongoing urban exodus

Many employees have come to prefer working from home after being forced to do so more than a year ago when the pandemic started. By some estimates, at least one-quarter of employees will still be working remotely multiple days a week at the end of 2021. For those whose jobs allow it, being untethered from the office might mean moving farther away from it – by a few miles or a few hundred.

UCI experts produce guide for defense attorneys fighting use of rap lyrics in trials

Irvine, Calif., June 9, 2021 — Criminology and legal experts at the University of California, Irvine have released Rap on Trial: A Legal Guide for Attorneys, to help protect artists from having their lyrics used against them in court. Rap lyrics have been introduced as evidence in hundreds of cases, and a high-profile ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals recently allowed a few lines of rap to help put a man behind bars for 50 years.

UCI-led team develops transplant biomaterial that doesn’t trigger immune response

Irvine, Calif., June 3, 2021 — A multidisciplinary research team led by Jonathan Lakey, Ph.D., professor of surgery and biomedical engineering at the University of California, Irvine, has developed a biomaterial for pancreatic islet transplants that doesn’t trigger the body’s immune response. Based on stem cell technology, hybrid alginate offers a possible long-term treatment for Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune reaction that destroys pancreatic islets’ beta cells, which regulate blood glucose levels.

Efforts to treat COVID-19 patients chronicled in UC Health medications data

Irvine, Calif., May 21, 2021 – A record of medicine utilization patterns assembled by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California, Irvine and the UC San Diego School of Medicine reveals the thought, care and scientific rigor clinicians at UC Health medical centers applied in their treatment of patients with COVID-19 in 2020.

UCI-led team challenges existence of recently proposed exoplanet at Barnard’s star

In 2018, astronomers announced that they had discovered an exoplanet orbiting Barnard’s star, our solar system’s second-closest stellar neighbor, but further analysis by an international group of researchers headed by a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine has cast doubt on the finding.

Helping humans heal

In a lab on the upper floors of Engineering Hall, something is growing. It’s not a plant. And it’s not an animal. What Ronke Olabisi is growing in her lab is us. From new skin and retinal tissue to hearts and livers, she’s developing the tools to rebuild and repair the human body. A UCI assistant professor of biomedical engineering, Olabisi has been working with regenerative tissue for the better part of seven years, using a hydrogel based on polyethylene glycol diacrylate.

Emily Penner among 5 early-career US researchers named William T. Grant Scholars

Irvine, Calif., May 11, 2021 — Emily Penner, an assistant professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, has been named a William T. Grant Scholar to explore what makes a high school ethnic studies teacher effective. The five-year, $350,000 award supports promising early-career researchers with interests in reducing inequality or improving the use of research evidence.

Rutgers Champion of Student Health and Wellness is Retiring

When Melodee Lasky joined Rutgers University 19 years ago, behavioral and mental health services were scattered across the individual colleges with little coordination. Psychiatry and the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program were part of student health, but counseling services were separated and college-affiliated. Lasky, a physician who recognized the connection between physical and emotional wellness, recommended that mental and behavioral health be integrated within the framework of student health. That led to the creation of CAPS – Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services – a program that helps about 4,500 students each year.

UCI’s Adria Imada is named a 2021 Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Irvine, Calif., April 28, 2021  — The University of California, Irvine’s Adria L. Imada has been named to the 2021 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows. The professor of history – who also teaches in the medical humanities – joins an exclusive cohort of 26 distinguished scholars from across the nation, selected out of more than 300 nominees.

Judith Kroll is named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Irvine, Calif., April 22, 2021 — Judith Kroll, Distinguished Professor of language science at the University of California, Irvine, has been elected a fellow by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The 241st class of inductees includes more than 250 extraordinary people across America and around the world who help solve the world’s most urgent challenges, create meaning through art, and contribute to the common good from every field, discipline and profession.

UCI announces employee, student back-to-campus plans

Irvine, Calif., April 20, 2021 — Taking what it has learned from remote work and learning practices over the past 15 months, the University of California, Irvine will begin instituting back-to-campus plans for employees and students that will include hybrid workplaces and flexible coursework. The transition back to campus will be managed in phases starting July 1, with the university being fully operational in person by Sept.

UCI study finds that California Competes Tax Credit program creates jobs

Irvine, Calif., April 15, 2021 — Finally, an economic development tax incentive program that works – that’s the conclusion of an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Irvine. They found that each job incentivized under the California Competes Tax Credit led to more than two additional people working in that location.

UCI-led team creates new ultralightweight, crush-resistant tensegrity metamaterials

Irvine, Calif., March 11, 2021 – Catastrophic collapse of materials and structures is the inevitable consequence of a chain reaction of locally confined damage – from solid ceramics that snap after the development of a small crack to metal space trusses that give way after the warping of a single strut. In a study published this week in Advanced Materials, engineers at the University of California, Irvine and the Georgia Institute of Technology describe the creation of a new class of mechanical metamaterials that delocalize deformations to prevent failure.

John Chaput can store the Declaration of Independence in a single molecule

Just how much space would you need to store all of the world’s data? A building? A block? A city? The amount of global data is estimated to be around 44 zettabytes. A 15-million-square-foot warehouse can hold 1 billion gigabytes, or .001 zettabyte. So you would need 44,000 such warehouses – which would cover nearly the entire state of West Virginia.

UCI researchers eavesdrop on cellular conversations

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 17, 2020 — An interdisciplinary team of biologists and mathematicians at the University of California, Irvine has developed a new tool to help decipher the language cells use to communicate with one another. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, the researchers introduce CellChat, a computational platform that enables the decoding of signaling molecules that transmit information and commands between the cells that come together to form biological tissues and even entire organs.

Radioactive bone cement found to be safer in treating spinal tumors

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 16, 2021 — A radioactive bone cement that’s injected into bone to provide support and local irradiation is proving to be a safer alternative to conventional radiation therapy for bone tumors, according to a study led by University of California, Irvine researchers. The study shows that this brachytherapy cement can be placed into spinal bones to directly irradiate tumors without harming the spinal cord, and the radioactive material will stay localized in the bones, which promises to virtually eliminate side effects.

Nutrition, companionship reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 1, 2021 — Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Minnesota have found that an enriched diet and companionship can reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease by increasing serotonin. They also discovered that duloxetine, an antidepressant that boosts serotonin levels, could be an alternative to opioids in treating chronic pain.

Up-trending farming and landscape disruptions threaten Paris climate agreement goals

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 27, 2021 — One of President Joe Biden’s first post-inauguration acts was to realign the United States with the Paris climate accord, but a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine demonstrates that rising emissions from human land-use will jeopardize the agreement’s goals without substantial changes in agricultural practices.

Stony Brook University Names Paul Goldbart as Executive Vice President and Provost

Paul Goldbart, PhD, has been appointed the new Executive Vice President and Provost, effective March 22, 2021, announced Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. Goldbart is currently Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Robert E. Boyer Chair and Mary Ann Rankin Leadership Chair at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

UCI scientists measure local vibrational modes at individual crystalline faults

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 11, 2021 – Often admired for their flawless appearance to the naked eye, crystals can have defects at the nanometer scale, and these imperfections may affect the thermal and heat transport properties of crystalline materials used in a variety of high-technology devices. Employing newly developed electron microscopy techniques, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have, for the first time, measured the spectra of phonons – quantum mechanical vibrations in a lattice – at individual crystalline faults, and they discovered the propagation of phonons near the flaws.

UCI researchers use deep learning to identify gene regulation at single-cell level

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 5, 2021 — Scientists at the University of California, Irvine have developed a new deep-learning framework that predicts gene regulation at the single-cell level. Deep learning, a family of machine-learning methods based on artificial neural networks, has revolutionized applications such as image interpretation, natural language processing and autonomous driving.

UCI engineers reveal molecular secrets of cephalopod powers

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 17, 2020 — Reflectins, the unique structural proteins that give squids and octopuses the ability to change colors and blend in with their surroundings, are thought to have great potential for innovations in areas as diverse as electronics, optics and medicine. Scientists and inventors have been stymied in their attempts to fully utilize the powers of these biomolecules due to their atypical chemical composition and high sensitivity to subtle environmental changes.

UCI-led study profiles undocumented students’ experiences in state public universities

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 10, 2020 — Although most undocumented students at California’s public universities experience disruptions to their education and well-being due to immigration status concerns, more than two-thirds have a 3.0 or higher GPA, according to a new study led by the University of California, Irvine. The findings are the first to be reported under the UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity initiative, launched in 2019 and supported by a $270,000 UC Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant.

Pacific Symphony working with UCI public health experts on COVID-19 plan

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 8, 2020 — University of California, Irvine public health experts are providing consulting services to Pacific Symphony to enable the Orange County ensemble to once again play music together – which hasn’t happened since early March because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the past months, Pacific Symphony has held online events – including virtual concerts, living room concerts on video, internet interview programs, and KCET and PBS SoCal’s “Southland Sessions Presents Pacific Symphony” series – featuring offerings from the orchestra’s archival vaults.

UCI researchers develop rapid antibody generation technology

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 7, 2020 — Using the same strain of yeast that ferments wine and makes dough rise, a team led by University of California, Irvine and Harvard Medical School researchers has developed an in vitro technology that can rapidly hypermutate antibodies. The new technology generates antibodies faster than animal immune systems and better than current synthetic methods, giving researchers the tools for evolving exceptionally potent agents, including therapeutic candidates that target SARS-CoV-2.

Smiling sincerely or grimacing can significantly reduce the pain of needle injection

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 1, 2020 — The coming of winter means cooler temperatures, shorter days and flu shots. While no one looks forward to a vaccination, a study led by the University of California, Irvine, has found that either a sincere smile or a grimace can reduce the pain of a needle injection by as much as 40 percent. A genuine, or Duchenne, smile – one that elevates the corners of the mouth and creates crow’s feet around the eyes – can also significantly blunt the stressful, needle-related physiological response by lowering the heart rate.

UCI professor’s life skills course is expanded to all 10 UC campuses

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 30, 2020 — Long successful at the University of California, Irvine, Mahtab Jafari’s Life 101 course will be available across the 10 UC campuses during the upcoming winter quarter. The class teaches healthy lifestyle choices, promotes students’ well-being, and helps them to recognize and manage their stress.

Perfect Match: FAU and Memorial Healthcare System Establish Research Partnership

South Florida giants in higher education and healthcare have joined forces to form an alliance that will advance clinical research and clinical trials in the region. Florida Atlantic University and Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County have formed a “Research Partnership to Advance Clinical Trials” (Research PACT), which combines their expertise and resources in clinical research, clinical trials, basic research and translational biomedical research.

UC researchers pioneer more effective method of blocking malaria transmission in mosquitoes

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 3, 2020 — Employing a strategy known as “population modification,” which involves using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system to introduce genes preventing parasite transmission into mosquito chromosomes, University of California researchers have made a major advance in the use of genetic technologies to control the transmission of malaria parasites.

Antibody screening finds COVID-19 nearly 7 times more prevalent in O.C. than thought

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 28, 2020 — Testing a representative sample of Orange County residents for a wide range of coronavirus antibodies, University of California, Irvine researchers found that 11.5 percent of them have antibodies for COVID-19, in contrast to previous estimates of less than 2 percent. Latino and low-income residents had the highest prevalence of SARS-CoV-02 antibodies with rates of 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Cancer treatment without side effects?

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 27, 2020 – Treating cancer without debilitating side effects has long been the holy grail of oncologists, and researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Switzerland’s Lausanne University Hospital may have found it. Charles Limoli, professor of radiation oncology at UCI, and Marie-Catherine Vozenin, associate professor of radiation oncology at the Swiss facility, used an ultra-high dose rate of radiation therapy to eliminate brain tumors in mice, bypassing key side effects usually caused by cranial irradiation.

National Academy of Medicine elects UCI biomedical engineer Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 22, 2020 — University of California, Irvine biomedical engineer Kyriacos A. Athanasiou has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest distinctions awarded to professionals in the medical sciences, healthcare and public health. He is one of 90 new U.S.-based members announced this week, along with 10 new international members.

Demographic differences foster social ties in online support groups, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 22, 2020 — Millions of adults in the U.S. join online support groups to help them attain health goals, ranging from weight loss to smoking cessation. In their quest to make connections, members have a tendency to hide demographic differences, concerned about poor social integration that will weaken interpersonal ties.

UCI materials scientists discover design secrets of nearly indestructible insect

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 21, 2020 – With one of the more awe-inspiring names in the animal kingdom, the diabolical ironclad beetle is one formidable insect. Birds, lizards and rodents frequently try to make a meal of it but seldom succeed. Run over it with a car, and the critter lives on. The beetle’s survival depends on two key factors: its ability to convincingly play dead and an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the biological world.

Pandemic lockdowns caused steep and lasting carbon dioxide decline

An international team of climate experts, including Earth system scientists at the University of California, Irvine, today released an assessment of carbon dioxide emissions by industry, transportation and other sectors from January through June, showing that this year’s pandemic lockdowns resulted in a 9 percent decline from 2019 levels.

UCI, others see agriculture as major source of increase in atmospheric nitrous oxide

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 8, 2020­ – An international team of researchers – including Earth system scientists at the University of California, Irvine – recently completed the most thorough review yet of nitrous oxide from emission to destruction in the planet’s atmosphere. In addition to confirming that the 20 percent increase in the amount of the greenhouse gas since the start of the Industrial Revolution can be totally attributed to humans, the team expressed doubt about the ability to reduce emissions or mitigate their future impacts.

UCI biochip innovation combines AI and nanoparticle printing for cancer cell analysis

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 7, 2020 – Electrical engineers, computer scientists and biomedical engineers at the University of California, Irvine have created a new lab-on-a-chip that can help study tumor heterogeneity to reduce resistance to cancer therapies. In a paper published today in Advanced Biosystems, the researchers describe how they combined artificial intelligence, microfluidics and nanoparticle inkjet printing in a device that enables the examination and differentiation of cancers and healthy tissues at the single-cell level.

Population distribution can greatly impact COVID-19 spread, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 1, 2020 — Uneven population distribution can significantly impact the severity and timing of COVID-19 infections within a city or county, leading individual communities to have vastly different experiences with the pandemic, according to a recent study led by the University of California, Irvine. Findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that the heterogeneous spatial features of interpersonal connections may produce dramatic local variations in exposures to those with the illness.