Install Theme

Science Today is a daily radio feature produced by the University of California for the CBS Radio Network. From breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and the environment to insights into the world around us, Science Today covers it all.

Posts tagged with ‘UC Riverside’

If you’re one of the nation’s experts on spiders and the properties of their silk, you best not have a hint of arachnophobia. Fortunately for us UC Riverside’s evolutionary biologist Cheryl Hayashi does not have this problem. 
We had the pleasure of interviewing Hayashi in the past and she told us then that one of the spider silk proteins they genetically sequenced dated back about 250 million years.

That’s a really long period of time. I mean, we’re going back to the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs are walking around. And so this is a long time for these sequences to be conserved. And to us, that argues that these regions of the sequence are probably very important for the functioning of spider silks.

Hayashi explained that there’s lots of interest in creating synthetic spider silks.

Spider silk is very strong and very tough. It actually surpasses a lot of the common man-made materials. It’s stronger than high tensile steel and has a toughness that is greater than Kevlar. So there’s a lot of interest in being able to mass produce spider silk.

If you’re one of the nation’s experts on spiders and the properties of their silk, you best not have a hint of arachnophobia. Fortunately for us UC Riverside’s evolutionary biologist Cheryl Hayashi does not have this problem.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Hayashi in the past and she told us then that one of the spider silk proteins they genetically sequenced dated back about 250 million years.

That’s a really long period of time. I mean, we’re going back to the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs are walking around. And so this is a long time for these sequences to be conserved. And to us, that argues that these regions of the sequence are probably very important for the functioning of spider silks.

Hayashi explained that there’s lots of interest in creating synthetic spider silks.

Spider silk is very strong and very tough. It actually surpasses a lot of the common man-made materials. It’s stronger than high tensile steel and has a toughness that is greater than Kevlar. So there’s a lot of interest in being able to mass produce spider silk.

All that is required to become an optimist is to have the goal and to practice it. The more you rehearse optimistic thoughts, the more ‘natural’ and ‘ingrained’ they will become. With time they will be part of you, and you will have made yourself into an altogether different person.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, UC Riverside social psychologist & author

Bugs!

Part of UC Riverside’s Entomology Research Museum collection works with an international network that makes specimens available for research.  

Also on campus, Mark Hoddle, director of the Center for Invasive Species Research is looking for natural enemies to suppress the uncontrolled populations of a pest called the gold spotted oak borer beetle, which is taking a toll on the well-being of the state’s agricultural industry, as well as the state’s wilderness area. 

Listen to that story. 

Creating better video analysis technologies is one of the goals of researcher Amit Roy-Chowdhury, who leads the Video Computing Group at the University of California, Riverside.

Is it possible to develop automated algorithms? Is it possible to make computers not just capture and store images and videos, which is what they do currently, but also to understand the content of those images?

Their work includes helping law enforcement better analyze security video and embedding intelligence into the system so that security personnel are alerted to pay attention to specific screens in real time. Chowdhury’s facial recognition work even helped determine that a bust of King Tut was actually that of Queen Nefertiti. But there are other applications, too, including for biomedical purposes.

Where image and video analysis can help in better diagnoses of diseases or in understanding the biological processes underlying growth formation, for example.