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News Archive - Mario Aguilera

  • Drug Lord’s Hippos Make Their Mark on Foreign Ecosystem

    Four hours east of Medellín in northern Colombia’s Puerto Triunfo municipality, the sprawling hacienda constructed by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar of “Narcos” fame has become a tourist attraction. When Escobar’s empire crashed, the exotic animals housed at his family’s zoo, including rhinos,…

  • Mosquitoes Engineered to Repel Dengue Virus

    An international team of scientists has synthetically engineered mosquitoes that halt the transmission of the dengue virus. The development marks the first engineered approach in mosquitoes that targets the four known types of dengue, improving upon previous designs that addressed single strains.

  • New CRISPR-based Gene-Drive System in Bacteria Defeats Antibiotic Resistance

    Scientists have developed a CRISPR-based gene-drive system that inactivates a gene rendering bacteria antibiotic-resistant. The new system leverages technology developed by UC San Diego biologists in insects and mammals that biases genetic inheritance of preferred traits called “active genetics.”

  • UC San Diego Neurobiologist Part of $2 million Project to Study Brain, Motor-skill Learning

    A multi-institutional research team has been awarded a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to build an interdisciplinary research program that explores how the brain learns and stores information.

  • CRISPR-Resistant Viruses Build ‘Safe Rooms’ to Shield Genomes from DNA-Dicing Enzymes

    Scientists have found the most effective CRISPR shield ever discovered in viruses. They discovered a remarkable new strategy that some bacteria-killing viruses, or phages, employ: after they infect bacteria, these phages construct an impenetrable “safe room” inside of their host.

  • Quantitative Biology Opens Trail to Ecological Exploration, Evolutionary Prediction

    Scientists thought they knew everything there was to know about how and why bacterial cells moved around, but back-to-back articles in Nature by UC San Diego’s Terence Hwa reveal how little they understood bacteria movement en masse.

  • Waking Up to Why Sleep Health Matters

    At the start of the day, we all do it. We reflexively reach for our phones. As the day winds down, many of us can’t help but do the same. We lie in bed as the luminous glow of our phones—along with TVs and tablets, in many cases—shines into our eyes.

  • Doing the Impossible with Alternative Meats

    Liz Specht, Ph.D.’ 14, Biological Sciences, is the associate director of science and technology at the Good Food Institute, a non-profit organization that supports plant-based and cultivated alternatives to conventional meat products.

  • Cracking How ‘Water Bears’ Survive the Extremes

    Scientists have gained a new understanding of how ultra-resilient tardigrades, or “water bears,” are protected in extreme conditions. The researchers discovered that a protein named Dsup binds and forms a protective cloud against extreme survival threats such as radiation damage.