Content Authored by: Jules Bernstein

Wildfires can cause dangerous debris flows

Wildfires don’t stop being dangerous after the flames go out. Even one modest rainfall after a fire can cause a deadly landslide, according to new UC Riverside research. “When fire moves through a watershed, it creates waxy seals that don’t allow water to penetrate the soil anymore,” explained environmental science...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

The first human settlers on islands caused extinctions

Though some believe prehistoric humans lived in harmony with nature, a new UC Riverside analysis of fossils shows human arrival in the Bahamas caused some birds to be lost from the islands and other species to be completely wiped out.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Carb-eating bacteria under viral threat

Strictly speaking, humans cannot digest complex carbohydrates — that’s the job of bacteria in our large intestines. UC Riverside scientists have just discovered a new group of viruses that attack these bacteria.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Venus might be habitable today, if not for Jupiter

Venus might not be a sweltering, waterless hellscape today if Jupiter hadn’t altered its orbit around the sun, according to new UC Riverside research.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Entomologist gains ignoble distinction

People who research insects for a living are just like us — totally creeped out by spiders. This is the finding of a paper that earned retired UC Riverside spider expert Richard Vetter a 2020 Ig Nobel Award.

By Jules Bernstein | | University

Let them eat rocks

UC Riverside is leading an effort that could help ensure food security and improve the worst effects of climate change — by studying rock-eating bacteria and fungi.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Experiments in growing algae without sunlight

Elizabeth Hann, a doctoral student in plant biology at UC Riverside, is using a two-year, $60,000 fellowship from the Link Foundation to test whether she can grow algae for biofuels completely in the dark using solar-generated electricity.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Climate change will decimate Palm Springs, Coachella Valley tourism

A new UC Riverside study finds that climate change will have a devastating effect on the greater Palm Springs area’s dominant industry — tourism. Thousands known as “snowbirds” flock to the region annually from elsewhere in the country to escape freezing winters. However, due to climate change, the number of...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

New book explains DNA for curious nonscientists

After 50 years of research, UC Riverside geneticist Alan McHughen knows what DNA can and can't do. Now, he's written a book so that the rest of us can understand too. He couldn’t foresee when he wrote the book that the topic would gain additional importance with the outbreak of...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Water contaminant could have neurotoxic effects on children

Manganese isn’t considered a major water contaminant in America, but a new study is taking a closer look at whether it should be. A naturally occurring metal, manganese can be found in water supplies throughout the world. Over time, excessive ingestion of manganese can produce cognitive disabilities in children and...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

New tools in the fight against lethal citrus disease

Scientists are closer to gaining the upper hand on Huanglongbing, a disease that has wiped out citrus orchards across the globe. New models of the bacterium linked to the disease reveal control methods that were previously unavailable.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Surprising number of exoplanets could host life

A new UC Riverside study shows other stars could have as many as seven Earth-like planets in the absence of a gas giant like Jupiter.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists unlock genetic secrets of wine growers’ worst enemy

Following a decade-long effort, scientists have mapped out the genome of an aphid-like pest capable of decimating vineyards. In so doing, they have discovered how it spreads — and potentially how to stop it. The research team’s work on the genome was published this past week in a BMC Biology...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Hot or cold, venomous vipers still quick to strike

Most reptiles move slower when temperatures drop, but venomous rattlesnakes appear to be an exception. The cold affects them, but not as much as scientists expected.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Parasitic worm venom evades human immune system

It’s likely that billions of people are unaware they have been infected with parasitic worms. A UC Riverside scientist has won $1.8 million to try and understand why. The National Institutes of Health granted an Outstanding Investigator Award to Adler Dillman, an assistant professor of parasitology, so he can shed...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Parasite infestations revealed by tiny chicken backpacks

Blood-feeding livestock mites can be detected with wearable sensor technology nicknamed “Fitbits for chickens.” To help farmers detect mite infestations, a team of entomologists, computer scientists, and biologists led by UC Riverside entomologist Amy Murillo has created a new insect detection system. The team’s work is detailed in the journal...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

UC Riverside discovers first effective treatment for citrus-destroying disease

UC Riverside scientists have found the first substance capable of controlling Citrus Greening Disease, which has devastated citrus farms in Florida and also threatens California. The new treatment effectively kills the bacterium causing the disease with a naturally occurring molecule found in wild citrus relatives. This molecule, an antimicrobial peptide...

$20M sustainable nanotechnology partnership renewed

The National Science Foundation, or NSF, has renewed funding for a UC Riverside laboratory solving big environmental and agricultural challenges with very small chemical particles called nanomaterials.

Microbiome confers resistance to cholera

Many parts of the world are in the midst of a deadly pandemic of cholera, an extreme form of watery diarrhea. UC Riverside scientists have discovered specific gut bacteria make some people resistant to it — a finding that could save lives.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Biologists unravel tangled mystery of plant cell growth

When cells don’t divide into proper copies of themselves, living things fail to grow as they should. For the first time, scientists now understand how a protein called TANGLED1 can lead to accurate cell division in plants. Inside cells are structures called microtubules, which act like highways for moving proteins...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology