College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Latest News

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

New method identifies adaptive mutations in complex evolving populations

UC Riverside study focused on how HIV mutates to escape the immune system

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology

Sniffing your way to the gym

Exercise motivation could be linked to certain smells, UC Riverside mouse study finds

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | 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

Too much hype, too soon?

The news arrived Monday that the world has been awaiting since spring: a vaccine has been developed that shows a high degree of efficacy in late-stage trials: 90%. That puts it in the company of effective vaccines such as for measles, and well beyond what the medical community hoped for...

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

Raising the bar through authentic research

Boil the water, add the ingredients, stir. The instructions given in undergraduate science labs can feel a bit like making ramen noodles. “Lab courses that accompany many large science undergraduate lectures often adopt a cookbook-type approach, where students follow a series of instructions in a stepwise process without really understanding...

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

Scientists precisely measure total amount of matter in the universe

UC Riverside-led team’s technique relied on determining the mass of galaxy clusters

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology

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

Newly discovered planet survived the death of its star

Astronomers report what may be the first example of an intact planet closely orbiting a white dwarf

By Holly Ober | | 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

Physicists explain mysterious dark matter deficiency in galaxy pair

A new theory about the nature of dark matter helps explain why a pair of galaxies about 65 million light-years from Earth contains very little of the mysterious matter, according to a study led by a physicist at the University of California, Riverside. Dark matter is nonluminous and cannot be...

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | 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