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Jason Alvarez

Soil Can Sequester Planet-Warming Carbon. The Merced River is Helping Scientists Understand How.

Soils are carbon sinks, storing more planet-warming carbon than the atmosphere and all animal and plant life combined.

But they can also release massive amounts of stored carbon into the atmosphere. Given carbon’s central role in climate change, understanding the forces that govern how soils absorb and release carbon is crucial.

Grad Student Discovers, Patents Process to Create “Nanofoams” in Liquid Crystals

It sounds like an easy-to-follow recipe from the world of molecular gastronomy: Dissolve nanoparticles in liquid crystals and cool to form frothy nanofoams, tiny tubes and hollow microspheres.

But what fifth-year doctoral student Sheida Riahinasab and physics Professor Linda Hirst actually discovered is a simple method for producing hollow, microscopic structures — a patent-pending process that may lead to tiny sensors, batteries and medicine-delivery systems.

A Fruit Fly Walks Into a Bar ...

Editor’s note: Every year UC Merced shines a spotlight on the cutting-edge research underway at the university. Research Week is an opportunity for the public to explore the groundbreaking work conducted by students and faculty. As part of Research Week, the Newsroom will highlight a few of these ongoing efforts. Tune in for new research stories all week long.

Humans aren’t the only species with a well-developed drinking culture. The social life of the humble fruit fly also revolves around alcohol.

NSF Taps Former Dean Juan Meza to Lead Division of Mathematical Sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that they have selected former Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Applied Mathematics Professor Juan Meza as the new Division Director for the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS).

Meza was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates after a nationwide search. His appointment was based in part on his original contributions to the field of mathematical sciences, his demonstrated leadership in academia and his record of achievement in research administration.


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