New discoveries of the way plants transport important substances across their biological membranes to resist toxic metals and pests, increase salt and drought tolerance, control water loss and store sugar can have profound implications for increasing the supply of food and energy for our rapidly growing global population. That’s the conclusion of 12 leading plant biologists from around the world whose laboratories recently discovered important properties of plant transport proteins that, collectively, could have a profound impact on global agriculture.
The National Academy of Sciences today elected three professors at the University of California, San Diego to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors bestowed on U.S. scientists and engineers.
Biologists at UC San Diego have found that rats experience more anxiety and depression when the days grow longer. More importantly, they discovered that the rat’s brain cells adopt a new chemical code when subjected to large changes in the day and night cycle, flipping a switch to allow an entirely different neurotransmitter to stimulate the same part of the brain.
Biologists at UC San Diego have identified eight genes never before suspected to play a role in wound healing that are called into action near the areas where wounds occur.
Can scientists rid malaria from the Third World by simply feeding algae genetically engineered with a vaccine? That’s the question biologists at UC San Diego sought to answer after they demonstrated last May that algae can be engineered to produce a vaccine that blocks malaria transmission. In a follow up study, they got their answer: Not yet, although the same method may work as a vaccine against a wide variety of viral and bacterial infections.
What can green algae do for science if they weren’t, well, green?
That’s the question biologists at UC San Diego sought to answer when they engineered a green alga used commonly in laboratories, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, into a rainbow of different colors by producing six different colored fluorescent proteins in the algae cells.
The University of California, San Diego is developing a free online course designed to educate students and anyone else around the world with a computer and an internet connection about the challenges and potential solutions for meeting the global demands of food and fuel in the 21st century.