College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Latest News

Unusual team finds gigantic planet hidden in plain sight

A UC Riverside astronomer and a group of eagle-eyed citizen scientists have discovered a giant gas planet hidden from view by typical stargazing tools.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

How the Webb telescope could ultimately help protect Earth

UC Riverside astrophysicist Stephen Kane breaks down some unique aspects of the James Webb Space Telescope, explains how separate Venus projects intersect, and how both might benefit Earth.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Research reveals ancient Maya lessons on surviving drought

A new UC Riverside study casts doubt on drought as the driver of ancient Mayan civilization collapse.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists breeding citrus tolerant of deadly disease

A $1.5 million emergency grant is enabling UC Riverside scientists to find plants impervious to a disease threatening America’s citrus fruit supply.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Deadliest period in Earth’s history was also the stinkiest

Tiny microbes belching toxic gas helped cause — and prolong — the biggest mass extinction in Earth’s history, a new UC Riverside-led study suggests.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

How diet influences taste sensitivity and preference

What you eat influences your taste for what you might want to eat next. So claims a University of California, Riverside, study performed on fruit flies. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, offers a better understanding of neurophysiological plasticity of the taste system in flies. To maintain ideal...

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology

Queen’s genes determine sex of entire ant colonies

UC Riverside researchers have discovered the genetic basis for a quirk of the animal kingdom — how ant queens produce broods that are entirely male or female.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Keto diet may not work for women

Scientists from UC Riverside are studying how the popular keto and intermittent fasting diets work on a molecular level, and whether both sexes benefit from them equally.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Light-powered soft robots could suck up oil spills

A floating, robotic film designed at UC Riverside could be trained to hoover oil spills at sea or remove contaminants from drinking water.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

O my, here’s Omicron

UC Riverside experts share their thoughts on the new COVID-19 variant

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Health

Scientists discover potential cause of Alzheimer’s Disease

Prevailing theories posit plaques in the brain cause Alzheimer’s disease. New UC Riverside research points to cells’ slowing ability to clean themselves as the likely cause of unhealthy brain buildup.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

When bees get a taste for dead things

Typically, bees don’t eat meat. However, a species of stingless 'vulture' bee in the tropics has evolved the ability to do so, presumably due to intense competition for nectar. UC Riverside scientists find these bees' guts resemble those of hyenas and other carrion feeders.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

How to eat a poison butterfly

In high enough concentrations, milkweed can kill a horse, or a human. To be able to eat this plant, monarchs evolved a set of unusual cellular mutations. New UC Riverside research shows the animals that prey on monarchs also evolved these same mutations.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists solve 50-year-old mystery behind plant growth

A team of researchers led by UC Riverside has demonstrated for the first time one way that a small molecule turns a single cell into something as large as a tree. For half a century, scientists have known that all plants depend on this molecule, auxin, to grow. Until now...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

How specificity of the brain is wired

UC Riverside mouse study identifies key molecules that determine specificity of neural circuits

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology

Rising temperatures overcook bumblebees’ brunch

Bumblebees pollinate many of our favorite foods, but their own diet is being upset by climate change, according to a new UC Riverside study.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

How are epilepsy and autism linked?

UC Riverside and Rutgers University scientists explore this question in a study on mice

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology, Health

Flame retardants linked to autistic-like behavior

UC Riverside-led study shows maternal transfer of PBDEs causes brain changes in female mice offspring

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Health, Science / Technology

Learning more than ever, faster than ever, about what we breathe

Nobody is currently taking continuous, routine measurements of the particles suspended in America’s air, called aerosols. That is set to change as a new, nationwide monitoring network launches with a site in Riverside, California.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Extraterrestrial objects likely delayed complex life on Earth

Bombardment of Earth’s surface by asteroids six or more miles long likely delayed the accumulation of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. This, in turn, likely delayed the development of complex life on the planet, according to new research that included UC Riverside scientists.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology