Content Authored by: Jules Bernstein

Parasitic plants conspire to keep hosts alive

The plant that encourages kissing at Christmas is in fact a parasite, and new research reveals mistletoe has an unusual feeding strategy. When two mistletoes invade the same tree, they increase photosynthesis to get the nutrients they need, essentially sharing the tree and causing it less harm.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Commuters are inhaling unacceptably high levels of carcinogens

New UC Riverside research shows the average commuter in California is breathing unsustainably high levels of benzene and formaldehyde, two Prop. 65-listed, carcinogenic chemicals.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Researchers find peptide that treats, prevents killer citrus disease

New UC Riverside research affirms a unique peptide found in an Australian plant can destroy the No. 1 killer of citrus trees worldwide and help prevent infection.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Study finds childhood diet has lifelong impact

Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter your microbiome for life, even if you later learn to eat healthier, a new UC Riverside study in mice suggests.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Turning food waste back into food

UC Riverside scientists have discovered fermented food waste can boost bacteria that increase crop growth, making plants more resistant to pathogens and reducing carbon emissions from farming.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

‘Super Earth’ discovered near one of our galaxy’s oldest stars

A hot, rocky “super Earth,” near one of the oldest stars in the galaxy has taken a team of planet-hunting scientists by surprise.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Astronomers measure enormous planet lurking far from its star

Scientists aren’t usually able to measure the size of gigantic planets, like Jupiter or Saturn, which are far from the stars they orbit. But a UC Riverside-led team has done it.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists developing new solutions for honeybee colony collapse

The University of California, Riverside, is leading a new effort to stop and reverse a worldwide decline in honeybees, which threatens food security and prices.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Delicious and disease-free: scientists attempting new citrus varieties

UC Riverside scientists are betting an ancient solution will solve citrus growers’ biggest problem by breeding new fruits with natural resistance to a deadly tree disease. The hybrid fruits will ideally share the best of their parents’ attributes: the tastiness of the best citrus, and the resistance to Huanglongbing, or...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Root bacteria could help defeat fatal citrus disease

A UC Riverside-led team is looking at tiny underground microorganisms for a way to prevent a huge problem — Huanglongbing, a disease with no cure that has decimated citrus orchards worldwide. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded the team $10 million to investigate the role of soil...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to ‘smell’ food

New UC Riverside research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat. The study offers new avenues for protecting people from starvation due to pathogenic fungus-induced food shortages. Understanding how fungi sense and digest plants can also...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

$6.3 million will help UC Riverside save America’s avocado orchards

New grants totaling $6.3 million will help UC Riverside solve problems facing American avocado orchards, including a lethal fungal disease called Laurel Wilt. The disease can destroy an entire avocado orchard in a couple of weeks once symptoms develop. It is already present in Florida. Without effective treatments, it will...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Using Earth’s history to inform the search for life on exoplanets

UC Riverside is leading one of the NASA Astrobiology Program’s eight new research teams tackling questions about the evolution and origins of life on Earth and the possibility of life beyond our solar system.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Understanding bacteria’s metabolism could improve biofuel production

A new study reveals how bacteria control the chemicals produced from consuming ‘food.’ The insight could lead to organisms that are more efficient at converting plants into biofuels. The study, authored by scientists at UC Riverside and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been published in the Journal of the Royal...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Grant enables first nationwide effort to save native bees

Though regional studies have tracked the decline of native bees, there hasn’t been a coordinated nationwide effort to monitor these pollinators — until now. UC Riverside entomologist Hollis Woodard and bee researchers at 11 other institutions are now gathering data that will help governments and land managers justify new protective...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Reducing aerosol pollution without cutting carbon dioxide could make the planet hotter

Humans must reduce carbon dioxide and aerosol pollution simultaneously to avoid weakening the ocean’s ability to keep the planet cool, new UC Riverside research shows.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Chemicals in your living room cause diabetes in mice

A new UC Riverside study shows flame retardants found in nearly every American home cause mice to give birth to offspring that become diabetic.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

To survive asteroid impact, algae learned to hunt

Tiny, seemingly harmless ocean plants survived the darkness of the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs by learning a ghoulish behavior — eating other living creatures.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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