Each year, approximately 8,000 Americans are bitten by venomous snakes. On average, 800 or so bites occur annually in California, home to an abundance of snake species, but only one family is native and venomous: rattlesnakes. In San Diego County, the number of rattlesnake bites is increasing as well as the toxicity of the attack.
An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, suggest that inactivation of two specific genes related to the immune system may have conferred selected ancestors of modern humans with improved protection from some pathogenic bacterial strains, such as Escherichia coli K1 and Group B Streptococci, the leading causes of sepsis and meningitis in human fetuses, newborns and infants.
Selena Kuo and Elham Rahimy, undergraduates at the University of California, San Diego, have both received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious award in the country conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences. The scholarship awards $7,500 per year to support outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in science, engineering and math.