College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Latest News

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

Diversifying the sciences

UC Riverside’s Khaleel Razak and Frances Sladek receive grants from the University of California-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | 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

Study provides insights into how Zika virus suppresses the host immune system

A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has outlined how the Zika virus, which constituted an epidemic threat in 2016, suppresses the immune system of its host. The Zika virus, or ZIKV, spreads through mosquito bites and sexual intercourse. Currently, no approved vaccine or antivirals...

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology, Health

Scientists identify hundreds of drug candidates to treat COVID-19

UC Riverside researchers used a powerful machine-learning approach to screen millions of chemicals to find suitable candidates

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology, Health

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

NIH grant to physicist focuses on how pathogens evolve

Research could lead to the design of new and better treatments to fight disease

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | Science / Technology

UC Riverside joins new NSF center for the preservation of biological systems

The grant is the campus’ first successful bid for an NSF Engineering Research Center

By Holly Ober | | 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

Using artificial intelligence to smell the roses

UC Riverside study applies machine learning to olfaction with possible vast applications in flavors and fragrances

By Iqbal Pittalwala | | 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.