Content Authored by: Jules Bernstein

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

Nanomaterial gives robots chameleon skin

A new film made of gold nanoparticles changes color in response to any type of movement. Its unprecedented qualities could allow robots to mimic chameleons and octopi — among other futuristic applications. Unlike other materials that try to emulate nature’s color changers, this one can respond to any type of...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

UCR Herbarium founder donates $900K to preserve its future

UC Riverside’s herbarium, established over 60 years ago, is an irreplaceable library of plant specimens. Now, a $900,000 bequest from its founder Frank Vasek and his wife Maxine will ensure the resource remains available to many generations of future plant scientists, and that it receives needed repairs and reorganization. Vasek...

By Jules Bernstein | | University

Professor’s own body becomes physiology lab during pandemic

Just call him Professor Guinea Pig. Adapting to remote learning this quarter, Professor Rich Cardullo is performing all the experiments for his human physiology laboratory course — on himself. Picture a video in which your professor puts electrodes on his thighs and has a teaching assistant hit his knees, so...

By Jules Bernstein | | University

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bees

World Bee Day is May 20. To mark the occasion, we gathered some of UC Riverside’s top bee experts to answer questions submitted on our Instagram page. The response created, for lack of a better term, quite a buzz! We got so many questions — hundreds — that we could...

Tiny particle, big payoff

UC Riverside scientists have solved a 20-year-old genetics puzzle that could result in ways to protect wheat, barley, and other crops from a devastating infection. Ayala Rao, professor of plant pathology and microbiology, has been studying Brome Mosaic virus for decades. Unlike some viruses, the genetic material of this virus...

Murder hornets invade headlines, not the U.S.

Though “murder hornets” are dominating recent headlines, there are no Asian Giant Hornets currently known to be living in the U.S. or Canada, according to UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum Senior Scientist Doug Yanega.

Study finds natural fires help native bees, improve food security

Native bees that boost food crops are in decline but changing fire management policies could help them. Most flowering plant farms employ honeybees, a non-native species originally imported from Europe and managed by beekeepers. However, research shows that farms surrounded by natural bee habitat have higher crop yields. UC Riverside...

Hope for the infected

Though no proven treatment for COVID-19 currently exists, UC Riverside virologist Juliet Morrison feels there’s a good chance one will emerge. Morrison, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology, investigates the science behind promising avenues for new antiviral therapies. She explains what those are and weighs...

By Jules Bernstein | | University

Sugar-poor diets wreak havoc on bumblebee queens’ health

UC Riverside study shows that without adequate sugar, a bumblebee queen’s fat body, which functions like a human liver, does not correctly produce enzymes required for healthy metabolism and detoxification from pesticides.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Ancient meteorite site on Earth could reveal new clues about Mars’ past

UC Riverside scientists have devised new analytical tools to break down the enigmatic history of Mars’ atmosphere — and whether life was once possible there.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

New commuter concern: cancerous chemical in car seats

A new UC Riverside study concludes the longer your commute, the more you're exposed to a chemical flame retardant that is a known carcinogen, phased out of furniture use because it required a Proposition 65 warning label in California.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Agricultural area residents in danger of inhaling toxic aerosols

Excess selenium from fertilizers and other natural sources can create air pollution that could lead to lung cancer, asthma, and Type 2 diabetes, according to new UC Riverside research.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists short-circuit maturity in insects, opening new paths to disease prevention

New research from UC Riverside shows, contrary to previous scientific belief, a hormone required for sexual maturity in insects cannot travel across the blood-brain barrier unless aided by a transporter protein. The finding may soon allow scientists to prevent disease-spreading mosquitoes from maturing, or to boost reproduction in beneficial bumblebees.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

America’s most widely consumed oil causes genetic changes in the brain

New UC Riverside research shows soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Research identifies possible on/off switch for plant growth

New research from UC Riverside identifies a protein that controls plant growth — good news for an era in which crops can get crushed by climate change.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists develop new method to detect oxygen on exoplanets

UC Riverside scientists have developed a new method for detecting oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres that may accelerate the search for life.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

UCR investigates some of the nation’s worst nitrogen pollution

Nitrogen pollution, largely from automobile exhaust, can reduce drinking water quality and make air difficult to breathe. Thanks to a $1.1 million grant, UC Riverside scientists will soon understand how much nitrogen dry ecosystems in Southern California can absorb before they produce negative effects. “Levels of nitrogen pollution in Riverside’s...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

UCR scientists rank among world’s most influential scholars

The world’s most influential scientific researchers in 2019 include 10 current UCR scholars. In its annual list, Clarivate Analytics names the most highly cited researchers — those whose work was most often referenced by other scientific research papers for the preceding decade in 21 fields across the sciences and social...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

The thrust of the problem

A new understanding of a fault that caused a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake can help scientists better predict where and when the next big one will hit. For decades, scientists have debated the structure of the Main Himalayan Thrust — the fault responsible for a 2015 earthquake that killed nearly...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology