UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive 2010-2011

The 2010-11 Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB from July 2010 to June 2011. The heading of each item links to the full text of that story. All first appeared on the UCSB Featured News and Campus Topics page.

‘Zombie’ Stars Key to Measuring Dark Energy Stars that explode like bombs as they die, only to revive by sucking matter out of other stars. According to an astrophysicist at UC Santa Barbara, this isn't the plot for the latest 3D blockbuster movie. Instead, it's something that happens every day in the universe –– something that can be used to measure dark energy. This special category of “zombie” stars, known as Type Ia supernovae, help to probe the mystery of dark energy, which scientists believe is related to the expansion of the universe. Andy Howell, adjunct professor of physics at UCSB and staff scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, wrote a review article about this topic, published recently in Nature Communications. 6/30/11

Assistant Professor Named Outstanding Young Researcher Cenke Xu, assistant professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has been named Outstanding Young Researcher for 2011 by the Overseas Chinese Physics Association. The Outstanding Young Researcher Award is given annually to a physicist of Chinese ethnicity working in North America, Europe, or other regions outside of Asia. It is intended to encourage and to recognize the young researcher's contributions in physics. “I am grateful to all my colleagues who supported me with my research,” Xu said. “I am also grateful to UCSB for offering me amazing research resources, so I could accomplish my work.”  6/29/11

Sand Grains, Fossilized Pollen Reveal Climate History of Northern Antarctica The first direct and detailed climate record from the continental shelves surrounding Antarctica reveals that the last remnant of Antarctic vegetation existed in a tundra landscape on the continent's northern peninsula about 12 million years ago. Two UCSB scientists, including Alexander Simms, contributed to this multi-university study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study contains the most detailed reconstruction to date of the climatic history of the Antarctic Peninsula. The UCSB team looked at the shape of Antarctic sand grains from marine sediments to determine the degree of glaciation on the Antarctic Peninsula. 6/27/11

Sara Miller McCune Gives $1.5 Million to Arts & Lectures UC Santa Barbara philanthropist Sara Miller McCune has made a $1.5 million gift to Arts & Lectures that will provide endowment and programming support. In honor of her leadership gift, the executive director's position will be named for McCune. 6/27/11

Physicists Demonstrate Subatomic Quantum Memory in Diamond Physicists working at the UCSB and the University of Konstanz in Germany have developed a breakthrough in the use of diamond in quantum physics, marking an important step toward quantum computing. The results are reported in this week's online edition of Nature Physics. The physicists were able to coax the fragile quantum information contained within a single electron in diamond to move into an adjacent single nitrogen nucleus, and then back again using on-chip wiring. The senior author is David Awschalom, director of UCSB's Center for Spintronics & Quantum Computation, professor of physics, electrical and computer engineering, and the Peter J. Clarke director of the California NanoSystems Institute. 6/27/11

Study by NCEAS Working Group Shows How Vitamins and Minerals in Fruits and Vegetables Depend on Pollinators Fruits and vegetables that provide the highest levels of some key vitamins and minerals to the human diet globally depend heavily on bees and other pollinating animals, according to a new study published in the international online journal PLoS ONE. The new study, which came out of a working group at UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, was carried out by an international interdisciplinary research team. The team showed that in the global crop supply, several key vitamins and other nutrients related to lower risk for cancer and heart disease are present predominantly in crops propagated by pollinators. 6/22/11

Professor Receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award Bruce H. Lipshutz, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been awarded the 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. He was one of five award winners from across the country, and the only winner from academia. The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program recognizes individuals and organizations for successful research, development, and implementation of outstanding green chemical technologies that prevent pollution and have broad applicability in industry. 6/21/11

Psychologist Explores Emerging Technologies Virtual reality may seem a phenomenon of 21st-century technology, but it has existed for thousands of years — since human beings first developed the ability to imagine. The difference between then and now, however, is that our 21st-century technology allows us to create virtual environments and human representations that are functionally indistinguishable from physical reality. What that means for the future is the topic of a new book by Jim Blascovich, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UC Santa Barbara and co-director and co-founder of the campus's Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior. In “Infinite Reality — Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution,” Blascovich examines how these new developments in digital technologies increase the potential of the mind. 6/20/11

New Equipment Boosts UCSB's Large-Scale Computer Power UCSB's Center for Scientific Computing (CSC) has expanded computing resources for campus researchers with a new, state-of-the-art, high-performance, $1 million computing cluster. The new Hewlett Packard cluster will fulfill the need for calculations and simulations that are too large for desktop computers or workstations, but below those normally run at the handful of national supercomputing centers. The CSC has provided more than 3.7 million hours of computer time to UCSB researchers over the last six months, for research projects in such diverse areas as Alzheimer's disease, earthquake modeling, and fuel cell design. Co-directors of the CSC are Frank Brown and Paul Weakliem. 6/16/11

Dream Comes True for 17-Year-Old Louisiana Student Caroline Roy has plans, and she won't let a little thing like life-threatening illness get in her way. The 17-year-old high school student from Baton Rouge, La., wants to study marine biology, and after much research decided the place where she wants to do it is UC Santa Barbara. She and her family spent the day at UCSB touring the campus's Marine Science Institute (MSI) and meeting with marine biologists and learning about the diverse research being conducted in the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology. Their trip was made possible by Dreams Come True of Louisiana, Inc., a nonprofit organization that fulfills dreams for children with life-threatening illnesses. 6/15/11

Physicists Apply Einstein's Theory to Superconducting Circuits After earlier showing that they could reproduce a basic superconductor using Einstein's general theory of relativity, UCSB physicists now say they have demonstrated that the Josephson junction could be reproduced by using the same theory. The results are explained in a recent issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. Gary Horowitz, professor of physics at UCSB, said that Einstein's general theory of relativity –– which was developed as a theory of gravity and is extremely successful in explaining a wide variety of gravitational phenomena –– is now being used to explain several aspects of non-gravitational physics. 6/9/11

Sociologist Receives Harold J. Plous Award Victor Rios, an assistant professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, has received the 2011-12 Harold J. Plous Award. One of the university's most prestigious faculty honors, the award is given annually to an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences who has shown exceptional achievement in research, teaching, and service to the university. Presented by the College of Letters and Science, the award was established in 1957 to honor the memory of Harold J. Plous, an assistant professor of economics. Rios will showcase his research when he delivers the annual Plous Lecture next spring. His current scholarly work spans several fields of sociology, including race and ethnicity, Latina/o Studies, Black Studies, deviance and social control, and urban studies. 6/8/11

UCSB Students Receive Campus's Top Honors

  • Six graduating women will receive cash awards totaling $46,500 from the now-defunct Santa Barbara City Club, whose members established the program 31 years ago to reward top female graduates for "a job well done." 6/1/11
  • Two graduate students, three graduating seniors, and a faculty member have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate research. 6/2/11
  • Four graduating seniors have been selected to receive awards for outstanding academic achievement at commencement exercises. 6/6/11
  • Three remarkable seniors have been named winners of the university's top awards for their scholastic achievement, their extraordinary service to the university and the community, and their personal courage and persistence. 6/7/11

Scientists Discover New Direction in Alzheimer's Research In a new study, UCSB scientists have made an important finding about what happens to brain cells that are destroyed in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Senior author Stu Feinstein, professor of biology and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, explained that his research team has found new information about what goes wrong with a protein called “tau” in the brain's neurons, in the course of Alzheimer's disease. “That would provide clues for drug companies; they would have a more precise target to work on,” said Feinstein, who worked with co-author Jack Reifert. 6/6/11

18 Campus Sustainability Projects Receive ‘Green Initiative' Grants The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Grant Making Committee has announced its grant recipients for the 2010-11 funding cycle. The committee, composed primarily of undergraduate and graduate students, received 37 applications for various campus sustainability projects from UCSB students, staff, and faculty. In the end, 18 projects were selected to receive awards totaling $177,080. "This year, The Green Initiative Fund has funded more projects than ever before, aiding the campus in reaching ambitious reduction targets in waste, water, and energy," said Jasmine Syed, UCSB's new sustainability coordinator. 6/2/11

Digital Library Brings Holdings From Special Collections to the Web Davidson Library has launched its new Digital Library, with 3,000 historic and artistic photographs, poster prints, music scores, audio recordings, videos, and picture discs drawn from the more than 500,000 items in the library's Special Collections Department. Among the highlights are images and glass plate negatives from the Flying A Studios, which operated in Santa Barbara from 1912 to 1917; photographs from Ghana, Britain, and Australia dating from 1910 to 1921; poster prints from contemporary San Francisco artists; picture discs from the 1940's; and artistic photographs of California and the United States taken between 1970 to 1990. Audio recordings include discussions and talks by famous political thinkers, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Digital Library is available at http://digital.library.ucsb.edu. 5/25/11

Computer Scientist Receives Fulbright Award to Conduct Research in Finland Matthew Turk, a professor of computer science and of media arts and technology at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair position, which is among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program, will enable him to conduct research in Finland during the 2011-12 academic year. Turk will work with colleagues at the University of Oulu and the University of Tampere on research in vision-based interaction in mobile environments.  5/24/11

Nanoscale Imaging May Lead to New Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis Laboratory studies by chemical engineers at UC Santa Barbara may lead to new experimental methods for early detection and diagnosis — and to possible treatments — for pathological tissues that are precursors to multiple sclerosis and similar diseases. Achieving a new method of nanoscopic imaging, the scientific team studied the myelin sheath, the membrane surrounding nerves that is compromised in patients with multiple sclerosis. Jacob Israelachvili, one of the senior authors and professor of chemical engineering and of materials at UCSB, explained that defects in the molecular or structural organization of myelin membranes lead to reduced transmission efficiency of the central nervous system, resulting in various sensory and motor disorders or disabilities and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.  5/23/11

Scientists Make Strides in Vision Research New research at UCSB is contributing to the basic biological understanding of how retinas develop. In two scientific articles, the vision researchers documented how they used mice to show that the size of different populations of retinal neurons display wide-ranging variability among individuals. "These studies individually demonstrate the genetic determinants of nerve cell number," said Benjamin E. Reese, senior author and professor with the Neuroscience Research Institute and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "Together, they show that different nerve cell types are modulated independent of one another." Working with Reese on the projects were Irene Whitney, graduate student and first author of both articles, and Mary Raven, staff scientist and co-author.  5/20/11

Localizing Fruit, Vegetable Consumption Doesn't Solve Environmental Issues David Cleveland, professor of environmental studies, and his students, including Corie Radka, did a comprehensive study of how “localized" the agrifood system for fruits and vegetables is in Santa Barbara County, and to try to determine the effects of localization of the food system on the environment and nutrition. The researchers found that more than 99 percent of the produce grown in Santa Barbara County is exported, and more than 95 percent of the produce consumed in the county is imported. The study also found that if all produce consumed here was grown in the county, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions less than 1 percent of total agrifood system emissions, and it would not necessarily affect nutrition.  5/19/11

UCSB Receives National, Systemwide Recognition for Community Service The Corporation for National and Community Service has named UC Santa Barbara to the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. UCSB is one of 511 colleges and universities so honored, and one of only 114 to be recognized with distinction. In addition, the UC Board of Regents at its meeting on May 17 presented the university's 2010 President's Award for Outstanding Student Leadership to UCSB's Student Veterans Organization. The organization was cited for its advocacy efforts on behalf of student veterans and for providing valuable resources to veterans as they acclimate to life on campus.  5/19/11

Scientists Track Environmental Influences on Giant Kelp with Help from Satellite Data Scientists have developed new methods for studying how environmental factors and climate affect giant kelp forest ecosystems at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. The scientists merged data collected underwater by UCSB divers with 25 years of satellite images of giant kelp canopies taken by the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper. In 2009, the entire Landsat imagery library was made available to the public for the first time at no charge, allowing the research team to conduct their study.  5/17/11

Carpinteria Students Conduct Research Through Linguistics Project A pilot project at UC Santa Barbara has 15 Carpinteria High School students conducting original linguistics research in their own community. The students are enrolled in a course called Language in Society, and are being guided in their work by a team of UCSB graduate and undergraduate students in linguistics, education, and Spanish. The project, directed by Mary Bucholtz, professor of linguistics at UCSB, gives the high school students an opportunity to collect data, study linguistics concepts, and learn how to do technical linguistic transcription of speech.  5/16/11

UCSB Part of World's Largest Ocean Radar Network A network of high-frequency radar systems, designed for mapping ocean surface currents, is now providing detailed data on coastal ocean dynamics along the U.S. West Coast. UC Santa Barbara is part of the multi-institution research consortium that created the radar network, which has grown over the last decade from a few radar antennas to what is now considered the largest network of its kind in the world.  5/12/11

Research by Psychologists Seeks to Understand Variations in Extraversion New research conducted by a team of psychologists at UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley suggests that while heredity may be a contributing factor in both extraversion and introversion, the majority of the variation can be attributed to a developmental process called facultative calibration. James Roney, associate professor of psychology at UCSB is co-author of the study, which appeared in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  5/11/11

Campus Opens New Labyrinth Trail Carol Geer is hoping that the new Labyrinth Trail on UC Santa Barbara's Lagoon Island will be the most serene and inspirational six-tenths of a mile you'll ever walk. Geer, who retired from UCSB in 2000 after 21 years as the director of Counseling and Career Services, and executive director of Student Development Services, suggested building a labyrinth somewhere on campus several years ago. She's also the driving force who worked to make it happen. And, she's the donor who generously provided the funds to pay for it. The labyrinth was constructed over a two-month period, but it took nearly five years to clear all of the hurdles that might have blocked the project.  5/11/11

Alumnus Richard Whited Establishes Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Science An endowed professorship in interdisciplinary science has been established at UC Santa Barbara with a $1 million gift from alumnus Richard Whited, and his wife, Paula, of Santa Barbara. The Richard Whited Chair in the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences will support the teaching and research of an outstanding assistant professor with interdisciplinary research interests focusing on energy efficiency. Chancellor Henry T. Yang expressed his gratitude to the Whiteds for their generous gift. “The Richard Whited Chair will not only advance research and teaching at the forefront of innovative discoveries in interdisciplinary science, with a focus on energy efficiency, but will also help develop the career of a brilliant assistant professor in this frontier area,” he said. “This is a tremendous gift that will have a lasting impact at UC Santa Barbara.”  5/10/11

UCSB, SUN Reach Agreement on Campus's Long Range Development Plan UC Santa Barbara and representatives of Sustainable University Now (SUN) have reached an agreement relating to the adoption of the campus's Long Range Development Plan. SUN is a coalition made up of community groups, including Citizen's Planning Association, Coalition for Sustainable Transportation, the Santa Barbara League of Women Voters, the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN), the SBCAN Action Fund, and the Santa Barbara Audubon Society. Campus officials met with SUN representatives about 30 times over a six-month period to resolve issues related to the plan and to craft the agreement.  5/9/11

Two Professors Elected to National Academy of Sciences Two UCSB faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. They are Michael Gazzaniga, (far left) professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and director of the Sage Center for the Study of Mind; and Boris Shraiman, a permanent member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, and professor in the Department of Physics. Election to the NAS is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer.  5/3/11

Water Project Wins Best Practice Award for Sustainability UC Santa Barbara has received a Best Practice Award in the annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Awards competition sponsored by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. UCSB was a winner in the category of Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality for its San Nicolas wetland and library mall storm drain project.  5/3/11

UCSB Urban Ecosystem Research Featured in Leading Ecology Journal UCSB scientists contributed to an innovative new study of the environmental impact of major urban ecosystems, published in the April issue of the journal Ecological Applications. Joseph P. McFadden and Jennifer Y. King, both of UCSB's Department of Geography, analyzed environmental data gleaned from the “Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project,” a study of 3,100 households in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., and surrounding areas. “With the findings of this study, we'll be able to identify the actions that individuals and households can take to improve environmental quality — and reduce their contributions to soil, water, and air pollution,” said King.  4/28/11

UCSB Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant Guillermo Bazan, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. Bazan's award is for the study of how semiconducting molecules that penetrate the membranes of living organisms can facilitate the conversion of wastewater into energy. This technology may help to alleviate the emerging world's problem with sanitation, a significant health hazard.  4/28/11

Examining the Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature In her new book, “Ingratitude — The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature,” erin Khuê Ninh, assistant professor of Asian American Studies, explores the apparent paradox of anger and bitterness that often pervades narratives written by second-generation Asian American daughters, despite their largely unremarkable upbringings. She locates not only racial hegemonies in the origins of these women's maddeningly immaterial suffering but also the structure of the immigrant family itself. She argues that the filial debt attached to these women both demands and defies repayment — all the better to produce the docile subjects of a model minority.  4/27/11

Scientists Discover New Drug Target for Kidney Disease Discoveries at UCSB point to potential new drug therapies for patients with kidney disease, specifically the inherited kidney disease known as autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease, or ADPKD. Thomas Weimbs, associate professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and his research team including Jeffrey J. Talbot discovered a molecular mechanism that sheds light on the disease. The finding involves a transcription factor that is activated in this kidney disease which is also activated in cancer, thus making the transcription factor a potential drug therapy target for polycystic kidney disease.  4/26/11

Physics Professor Receives International Award Anthony Zee, professor of physics with the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, has received the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. The award, which recognizes lifetime achievements in research, honors scholars whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their discipline, and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.  4/22/11

Beckman Scholars Program to Support Undergraduate Science Research UC Santa Barbara has been selected for the Beckman Scholars Program, which provides support for undergraduates conducting interdisciplinary research in the chemical and biological sciences. The scholarship awards will support six undergraduate students over the course of three years as they conduct research under the direction of faculty mentors from the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials, and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. The project's principal investigator is Galen Stucky, professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and of Materials.  4/21/11

3 Faculty Members Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences Three UCSB faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are Glenn H. Frederickson, professor of chemical engineering and of materials, and director of the campus's Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials; L. Gary Leal, the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering; and Ann Taves, the Virgil Cordano, OFM, Professor of Catholic Studies. An independent policy research center, the academy's membership includes more than 250 Nobel Prize laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners   4/19/11

Scientists Discover How to Predict Learning Using Brain Analysis An international team of scientists has developed a way to predict how much a person can learn, based on studies at UCSB's Brain Imaging Center. Researchers collected brain imaging data from people performing a motor task, and then analyzed this data using new computational techniques. They found evidence that the flexibility of a person's brain can be used to predict how well someone will learn. "Parts of the brain communicate with one another very strongly, so they form a sort of module of intercommunicating regions of the brain," said first author Danielle S. Bassett, postdoctoral fellow in physics at UCSB.  4/18/11

UC Santa Barbara Offers Admission to 22,386 for Fall 2011 UCSB has offered a place in its fall 2011 entering class to a total of 22,386 high school seniors. The prospective UCSB freshmen were selected from a total of 49,033 applicants — the largest applicant pool in UCSB history. The campus expects its fall 2011 entering class to number about 3,900.  4/18/11

How Marine Animals May Help Prevent Rejection of Transplanted Organs Studies of a small marine animal may ultimately help solve the problem of rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants in humans, according to UCSB scientists. Currently, only one in 20,000 donors are a match for a patient waiting for a transplant. These grim statistics drive scientists like Anthony W. De Tomaso, assistant professor of biology, to delve into the cellular biology of immune responses. His studies of the sea squirt shed light on the complicated issue of organ rejection. Joining De Tomaso on the research was Tanya R. McKitrick, who is first author on the paper.  4/14/11

Eyes Of Rock Let Chitons See Predators A simple mollusk may have evolved enough vision to spot potential predators, according to UCSB biologist and postdoctoral fellow Daniel Speiser. The three-inch-long mollusks, called chitons, have hundreds of eye-like structures with lenses made of aragonite, a type of rock. The finding is published in Current Biology. It's the first time scientists have found an animal that makes eye lenses from aragonite and not the rock's close cousin, calcite. Testing of the animals showed that they respond to objects and not just changes in light, leading the research team to suggest that they use their eyes to avoid predators.  4/14/11

Historian Examines Cold War in East Asia While the Cold War has most commonly been associated with Europe — think the former Soviet Union — and the United States, East Asia has served as what scholars refer to as a critical second front. A new book edited by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, professor of history, examines how interactions between six powers — the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, and North and South Korea — forged conditions that were quite distinct from the Cold War in Europe. In "The Cold War in East Asia — 1945-1991," Hasegawa also explores how the Cold War in East Asia influenced the shape of a third front in the developing world.  4/13/11

Associated Students to Launch UCSB's First Food Bank UC Santa Barbara's Associated Students are addressing hunger on campus by launching UCSB's first Food Bank. Starting in mid-April, undergraduate and graduate students will be able to pick up nonperishable food and other items on the third floor of the campus's University Center. "The Associated Students Food Bank is a much-needed service and just another example of how caring UCSB students are," said Michael Young, vice chancellor for student affairs. The Food Bank program is led by Paul Monge-Rodriguez and Guadalupe Cruz.  4/13/11

Black Studies Scholar Examines the Presence of Racism in 'Race-Neutral' Urban Sites White and non-white identities are place bound, asserts George Lipsitz, professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara. But for people of color, the places are often considered undesirable, and the opportunities they present tend to be much more limited. In his new book, "How Racism Takes Place," Lipsitz reveals how seemingly race-neutral urban sites contain hidden racial assumptions and imperatives. He argues that racism persists because a network of practices skew opportunities and life chances along racial lines.   4/7/11

Sociologist Examines Realism and Emotion in Love Songs In his new book, "What's Love Got to Do With It? Emotions and Relationships in Pop Songs," Thomas Scheff, professor emeritus of sociology, examines popular lyrics from 80 years of American song, and concludes that, in many ways, they actually do more emotional harm than good. Popular love songs, Scheff concludes, tend to present unrealistic perceptions of love, and generally steer listeners away from a healthy connection to the emotions associated with it.  4/7/11

Chemical Engineers Design Molecular Probe to Study Disease Chemical engineers at UCSB expect that their new process to create molecular probes may eventually result in the development of new drugs to treat cancer and other illnesses. Their research describes a new strategy to build molecular probes to visualize, measure, and learn about the activities of enzymes, called proteases, on the surface of cancer cells. Senior author Patrick Daugherty, professor of chemical engineering, explained that his team is unraveling the way these proteases facilitate metastasis in cancer patients.  4/6/11

Statistics Scholar Named Fellow of International Mathematics Society Jean-Pierre Fouque, professor of statistics and applied probability, and director of the Center for Research in Financial Mathematics and Statistics at UC Santa Barbara, has been named a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). He is one of 34 academics and professionals so honored for their outstanding contributions to applied mathematics and computational science through research or service. Fouque was recognized for his scholarly work in the area of financial mathematics and asymptotic analysis for random media.  4/6/11

Top 40 Science Questions from U.S. Conservation Policy Makers A wide-ranging group of experts has published a set of 40 key environmental questions to help align scientific research agendas with the needs of natural resource decision makers. The questions appear in the cover story of the April issue of BioScience. The authors expect that the 40 questions, if answered, will increase effectiveness of policies related to conservation and management of natural resources. "The questions focus on assessing trade-offs among economic, social, and ecological issues," said Erica Fleishman, lead author and a researcher with UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.  4/5/11

Physicist Elected to Head CMS Experiment at Large Hadron Collider Joseph Incandela, professor of physics at UCSB, has been elected by his colleagues as spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe. Incandela is the first U.S. scientist to be elected spokesperson for an experiment at the LHC. "Being the first U.S. scientist to head one of the LHC experiments is a big milestone," said Incandela. "I could not have been in the position I am now without the support I have from UCSB."  4/4/11

Scientists Get Glimpse of How the "Code" of Life May Have Emerged A portion of the "code" of life has been unraveled by a UC Santa Barbara graduate student from the town of Jojutla, Mexico. Annia Rodriguez worked with John Perona, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, to capture a partial glimpse of how the genetic coding of life may have emerged. The results of the study are published in the journal Structure.  3/23/11

Think Globally, Act Locally When Studying Global Warming Global warming is clearly impacting plants and animals, but we should not try to assess the specific contribution of greenhouse gas-driven climate change to declines or extinctions of species at local scales, according to biologists working with UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). The NCEAS team published a commentary article in the inaugural issue of the journal Nature Climate Change this week.   3/21/11

Stem Cell Pioneer Thomson Wins Top Biomedical Prize Jamie Thomson, the UC Santa Barbara stem cell expert, is one of three scientists who have been named the recipients of the 11th annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Thomson is a co-director of UCSB's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. The pioneering work of the three prize-winning scientists in isolating human stem cells holds great promise for the future of medicine. The $500,000 prize to be shared by the winners is the largest award in medicine and science in the United States.   3/16/11

Linda Petzold Receives Faculty's Top Honor The faculty of UC Santa Barbara has bestowed its highest honor on Linda Petzold, a professor of mechanical engineering and computer science. Petzold, an internationally recognized authority on computational science and engineering, has been named Faculty Research Lecturer for 2011. In announcing the award, the UCSB Academic Senate noted Petzold's extraordinary achievements in research and scholarly work. The Faculty Research Lectureship was established in 1955, and Petzold is the 56th recipient of the honor.   3/10/11

UCSB Named a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly University UC Santa Barbara has received a Gold Award in the League of American Bicyclists' inaugural Bicycle Friendly University program. UCSB is one of only two Gold Award-winning universities. "We are very proud of our successful bicycle system and the extraordinary use of that system by our campus community," said Marc Fisher, UCSB senior associate vice chancellor, administrative services.   3/9/11

New Instrument Keeps an Electronic 'Eye' on Nanoparticles Precision measurement in the world of nanoparticles has now become a possibility, thanks to UCSB scientists. Researchers have developed a new instrument capable of detecting individual nanoparticles with diameters as small as a few tens of nanometers. The study is published in Nature Nanotechnology by senior author Andrew Cleland, a UCSB physics professor. "This device opens up a wide range of potential applications in nanoparticle analysis," said Jean-Luc Fraikin, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB and the first author on the study.   3/7/11

Tipton Meeting House Earns LEED Platinum Certification The Tipton Meeting House at the University of California Sedgwick Natural Reserve has been designated one of the "greenest" buildings in the nation, earning LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The newly constructed, privately funded visitor and education center is one of only four UC buildings, including UCSB's Bren Hall, to have earned this distinction. The Tipton Meeting House received the maximum LEED design credits possible.   3/3/11

Scientists Study Control of Invasive Tree in Western U.S. Two UCSB scientists, Carla D'Antonio and Tom Dudley, working with colleagues from the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have published the first substantive data showing how dramatic water savings can result from using Asian beetles for the biological control of tamarisk, an invasive tree of western rivers. Simply by eating the leaves of the tamarisk, the beetle may help to slow water loss in the Southwestern United States.   3/2/11

World's Largest Lake Sheds Light on Ecosystems Siberia's Lake Baikal, the world's oldest, deepest, and largest freshwater lake, has provided scientists with insight into the ways that climate change affects water temperature, which in turn affects life in the lake, including the Baikal seal, left. "Lake Baikal has the greatest biodiversity of any lake in the world," said co-author Stephanie Hampton, deputy director of UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis. "This work is important because we need to go beyond detecting past climate variation. We also need to know how those climate variations are actually translated into local ecosystem fluctuations and longer-term local changes."   2/16/11

New Book Explores the Euro, the Dollar, and the Future of Global Currency In "The Future of Global Currency — The Euro Versus the Dollar," Benjamin J. Cohen, Louis Lancaster Professor of International Political Economy, examines the core deficiencies in the structure of the euro that make it virtually impossible for it to be anything other than a regional currency. Cohen also explains why the euro will always remain entrenched in the dollar's shadow.   2/15/11

Three Faculty Members Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships Three assistant professors at UCSB are among this year's winners of Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new Sloan Fellows from UCSB are among 118 winners announced today by the Sloan Foundation. The UCSB winners are Katherine "Katie" Byl, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Benjamin Monreal, and Cenke Xu, both assistant professors of physics.   2/15/11

Scientists Say It's High 'Noon' for Microwave Photons An important milestone toward the realization of a large-scale quantum computer, and further demonstration of a new level of the quantum control of light, were accomplished by a team of scientists at UCSB and in China and Japan. The experimental effort was pursued in the research groups of UCSB physics professors Andrew Cleland and John Martinis.   2/14/11

Investigation Determines Cause of Ceiling Collapse An engineering investigation into the October collapse of an exterior lobby ceiling at UC Santa Barbara's Bren Hall has concluded that ceiling suspension anchors were not sufficiently embedded in the concrete structure, and suspension wires were not uniformly tensioned.   2/14/11

The Recreation Center: A 'Showcase' for Sustainability For a facility built when sustainability in construction was more of an afterthought, UC Santa Barbara's Recreation Center sure has come a long way. The three-building complex that serves the recreational needs of UCSB's students, staff, and faculty has been designated a "Zero Net Energy Demonstration Showcase" project for sustainability by Southern California Edison. It's not the first time that the Rec Cen has received recognition for sustainability accomplishments.   2/14/11

Discovery May Lead to Drug Treatment Possibilities for Alzheimer's, Diabetes UCSB scientists have made a discovery that has the potential for use in the early diagnosis and eventual treatment of plaque-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Type 2 diabetes. Their work is published in a recent issue of Nature Chemistry. The amyloid diseases are characterized by plaque that aggregates into toxic agents that interact with cellular machinery, explained Michael T. Bowers, lead author and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.   2/10/11

Book Examines 1968 'Blowouts' and Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice In 1968, thousands of Chicano students walked out of their Los Angeles high schools to protest decades of inferior or discriminatory education. During these historic walkouts -- or "blowouts," as they were known –– the students were led by Sal Castro, a Mexican-American teacher who encouraged them to make their grievances public after school administrators and school board members failed to listen to them. "Blowout! Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice," a new book by Mario T. García, professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies and history at UC Santa Barbara, tells the story of the walkouts. Garcia also explains how Castro inspired the students to resolve their issues through a nonviolent demonstration.   2/9/11

Financial Aid Office Offers Free Online Tutorial for Federal Student Aid Form The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is offering its online tutorial to assist current and prospective students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Produced by the financial aid office at UCSB, "7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA: A Student's Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid" is designed to help prospective students complete the 2011-12 FAFSA in seven easy-to-understand steps.   2/9/11

National Engineering Academy Elects Two From Santa Barbara A prominent UC Santa Barbara faculty member and a distinguished alumnus of its College of Engineering are among the 68 new members elected today by the National Academy of Engineering. The new members affiliated with UCSB are David Awschalom, a professor of physics and of electrical and computer engineering, and Yulun Wang, an inventor and world-renowned authority on robotics and health care who earned his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at UCSB.   2/8/11

Study Shows Water Flea Contains Largest Number of Genes The water flea — Daphnia pulex — has the largest inventory of genes ever recorded for a sequenced animal, according to a new study in the journal Science. An international team effort to sequence the genome of the water flea included work by UCSB biologists. "We were surprised to find the incredibly high level of complexity of the set of Daphnia vision genes," said co-author Todd Oakley, associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. Oakley is one of hundreds of scientists involved in the research project known as Daphnia Genomics Consortium.  2/3/11

Las Cumbres Scientists Play Key Role in Kepler Mission Scientists at UCSB are involved in NASA's Kepler space telescope mission, which has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in the habitable zone. Two UCSB astronomers from the Department of Physics —Tim Brown and Avi Shporer — are involved in the mission. Both are also scientists at the UCSB-affiliated Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, which Brown directs. Brown is a Kepler co-investigator, and has had a significant role in the project from the beginning in the early 1990's.  2/2/11

UCSB Among Top Campuses in Producing Peace Corps Volunteers In the latest ranking of colleges and universities that send the largest number of volunteers to serve in the Peace Corps, UC Santa Barbara is again in the Top 25, with 55 of its graduates serving around the world in 2010. UCSB has consistently ranked among the top providers of volunteers to the agency, and the 55 serving in 2010 placed the campus at No. 22 among all large colleges and universities.  2/1/11

SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind Receives $1.26 Million Gift The SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at UCSB has received an additional $1.26 million gift from SAGE Publications, Inc., of Thousand Oaks, to establish a postdoctoral fellowship program that will bring exceptional recent Ph.D. recipients to campus to teach and conduct research. "The purpose of the Junior Fellows Program will be to provide men and women in the initial period of their scholarly careers an opportunity to pursue their studies in any department of the university," said Michael Gazzaniga, UCSB professor of psychology and director of the SAGE Center. "They will be postdoctoral scholars of outstanding ability and working at a level that will make them sought-after candidates for junior faculty positions as they move on in their careers."  2/1/11

Physicists Challenge Classical World with Quantum 'Shell Game' UCSB researchers have managed a feat that has been considered a holy grail among physicists studying photons at the quantum-mechanical level for more than a decade. Inspired by the popular confidence trick known as "shell game," the physicists have demonstrated the ability to hide and shuffle "quantum-mechanical peas" — microwave single photons — under and between three microwave resonators, or "quantized shells."  1/31/11

More Frequent Drought Likely in Eastern Africa The increased frequency of drought observed in Eastern Africa over the past 20 years is likely to continue as long as global temperatures continue to rise, according to Park Williams, postdoctoral fellow in UCSB's Department of Geography. Williams is first author of an article indicating that more drought poses increased risk to millions of people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, who currently face potential food shortages.  1/28/11

First Study of Dispersant in Gulf Spill Suggests a Prolonged Deepwater Fate Nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were used to combat last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Now, as scientists begin to assess how well the strategy worked at breaking up oil droplets, UCSB geochemist David Valentine and his colleagues report that a major component of the dispersant itself was contained within an oil-gas-laden plume in the deep ocean and had still not degraded some three months after it was applied. The results raise questions about what impact the deep-water residue of oil and dispersant might have had on the environment and marine life in the Gulf.  1/26/11

Scientists Find that Debris on Certain Glaciers May Prevent Melting A new study shows that debris coverage — pebbles, rocks, and other debris from surrounding mountains — may be a missing link in helping to understand the decline of glaciers. "With the aid of new remote-sensing methods and satellite images, we identified debris coverage to be an important contributor to glacial advance and retreat behaviors," said Bodo Bookhagen, assistant professor at UCSB. "This parameter has been almost completely neglected in previous Himalayan and other mountainous region studies, although its impact has been known for some time."  1/24/11

MSRB Receives LEED Gold Certification The Marine Science Research Building has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Marine Science building, also known as MSRB, received the LEED Gold certification in the Existing Building category. MSRB becomes the 10th building at UCSB to receive LEED certification.  1/20/11

Celebrating Black History Month With Lectures, Films, Art Exhibitions The campus will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of academic and cultural events, including film screenings, lectures, and three art exhibitions — two on campus and one at the Karpeles Manuscript Library in Santa Barbara. Among the events, which are free and open to the public, are a lecture by Herman Gray, left, who will give a talk titled "You Better Recognize: Visibility, Recognition, and Regulation."  1/19/11

Agreement With Belize Continues Maya Research Dignitaries from Belize will travel to Santa Barbara later this month to join UC Santa Barbara in signing a Memorandum of Understanding to support a collaborative research program at the ancient Maya city of El Pilar and to launch a management program titled "Archaeology Under the Canopy." Straddling the borders of Belize and Guatemala, El Pilar was mapped for the first time in 1983 by UCSB archeologist Anabel Ford, who has been working in the Maya forest area since 1972.  1/19/11

Thomson Awarded King Faisal International Prize for Medicine James A. "Jamie" Thomson, co-director of regenerative biology for UCSB's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, has been named a co-winner of the 2011 King Faisal International Prize for Medicine. Thomson is also director of regenerative biology at the Morgridge Institute for Research, and a professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Also, as of January 1, Thomson became a part-time member of the faculty in UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. 1/18/11

UCSB Receives 63,303 Applications for Fall 2011 The University of California, Santa Barbara has received 63,303 applications for undergraduate admission for fall 2011. The total is 4,311 more than last year¬, an increase of 7.3 percent. Of the total, 49,015 applications were from prospective first-year students — 2,343 more than last year, a 5 percent increase; and 14,288 were from applicants seeking to transfer to UCSB — 1,968 more than last year, a 16 percent increase.  1/14/11

Planck Mission Peels Back Layers of the Universe Physicists at UCSB have been involved with Planck — an international satellite that peers back into the beginning of the universe — since its inception in the mid-1990's. Planck has produced what scientists are calling new and provocative data. "Encoded in the Planck maps is an enormous amount of information, including the birth of our universe and our ultimate fate," said Philip Lubin, professor of physics and a member of the Planck team. Peter Meinhold, associate research physicist, is also a member of the Planck team.  1/13/11

Eight UCSB Faculty Members Named AAAS Fellows Eight faculty members — the highest one-year total ever for UCSB — have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The newly elected members from UCSB are Richard P. Appelbaum, professor of sociology and global and international studies; Bruce Bimber, professor of political science and communication; Andrew Cleland, professor of physics; Francis J. "Frank" Doyle III, professor of chemical engineering; Catherine Gautier, professor of geography; Arthur C. Gossard, professor of materials; Joseph Incandela, professor of physics; and Chris G. Van de Walle, professor of materials.  1/11/11

Scientists Find Gulf Methane Concentrations Back to Near-Normal Levels Researchers from UCSB and Texas A&M University report that methane gas concentrations in the Gulf of Mexico have returned to near-normal levels only months after a massive release occurred following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. Findings from the research study, led by oceanographers John Kessler of Texas A&M and David Valentine of UCSB, were published in Science Xpress. The findings show that Mother Nature quickly saw to the removal of more than 200,000 metric tons of dissolved methane through the action of bacteria blooms that completely consumed immense gas plumes. Among the UCSB researchers were graduate student Stephanie Mendes, left, and postdoctoral researcher Molly Redmond.  1/6/11

Engineering Professor Mark Rodwell Appointed to Doluca Chair UC Santa Barbara Professor Mark Rodwell, whose research has extended the limits of high-frequency radio, high-speed optical communications, and powerful imaging applications, has been awarded the Doluca Family Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering in recognition of his exceptional achievements. The endowed professorship recently was established with a $500,000 gift from UCSB alumnus Tunc Doluca and his wife, Lale, to support education and technological innovation in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design.  1/5/11

Memorial Service to Honor William Freudenburg, Professor and Renowned Environmental Scholar A memorial service honoring William R. Freudenburg, the Dehlsen Professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara, will take place at the UCSB Faculty Club at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 22. Freudenburg, 59, died December 28 after a long battle with bile duct cancer, according to an announcement from the Environmental Studies Program.  1/5/11

MESA Named Among Nation's Top Academic Preparation Programs For the second consecutive year, UC Santa Barbara's mentorship program for elementary, high school, and college students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics has been recognized by the Bayer Foundation as one of the top academic development programs in the country. UCSB's highly successful Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program serves over 800 students from 15 schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, 80 percent of whom go to college.  1/4/11

Institute for Energy Efficiency Designs Lamps for Schoolchildren Around the World UCSB's Institute for Energy Efficiency and its director, John Bowers, have designed solar-powered LED lights that will be distributed through a Santa Barbara nonprofit, Unite to Light, to more than 100,000 children in developing nations around the world in 2011. The schoolchildren, whose families can't afford fuel for home lighting, will finally be able to study and read at night, thanks to these lights.
VIDEO: Click here for an interview with Bowers about the Unite to Light project.  12/21/10

Scientists Demonstrate Biomagnification of Nanomaterials in Simple Food Chain An interdisciplinary team of researchers has produced a groundbreaking study of how nanoparticles are able to biomagnify in a simple microbial food chain. "This was a simple scientific curiosity," said Patricia Holden, professor in UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the corresponding author of the study, published in an early online edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. "But it is also of great importance to this new field of looking at the interface of nanotechnology and the environment."  12/20/10

Research by Physicists Honored as Science's 2010 Breakthrough of the Year A quantum device designed by a team of physicists led by Andrew Cleland and John Martinis has been named the 2010 Breakthrough of the Year by the journal Science. Science, the publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), cited the UCSB researchers for designing "a gadget that moves in ways that can only be described by quantum mechanics — the set of rules that governs the behavior of tiny things like molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. In recognition of the conceptual ground this experiment breaks, the ingenuity behind it, and its many potential applications, Science has called this discovery the most significant scientific advance of 2010."  12/17/10

Carsey-Wolf Center Names Executive Director Richard Hutton, formerly the vice president of media development at Vulcan Productions and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, has been appointed executive director of the Carsey-Wolf Center at UCSB. Named for Emmy Award-winning television producers Marcy Carsey and Dick Wolf, the center brings together UCSB faculty members and scholars from film and media studies, communication, and other departments in the arts, humanities, and sciences to teach and conduct research on all forms of mass media from a variety of cultural, historical, and social perspectives. At the heart of the center is the Pollock Theater, a new state-of-the art venue that provides space for year-round programming of a diverse array of films and filmmakers.  12/15/10

New Contract with MarBorg Seen as Boost for Sustainability A new four-year waste management contract with MarBorg Industries is being hailed by campus officials as a significant step toward UCSB's goal of becoming one of the most sustainable campuses in the country. The contract, approved recently by the UC Regents, will remain in effect until 2014. It stipulates that MarBorg will process all of UCSB's solid waste through its recycling facility in Santa Barbara. In addition, MarBorg will collect and compost all campus food waste.  12/15/10

Communication Scholar Examines Dysfunctional Feedback in Organizations In every organization, unexpected challenges require workers, clients, and/or customers to find alternate methods for completing their respective tasks, or suffer negative consequences. These difficulties, and the responses to them, comprise what Ronald E. Rice, the Arthur N. Rupe Professor of the Social Effects of Mass Communication, refers to as "unusual routines." In his new book, "Organizations and Unusual Routines: A Systems Analysis of Dysfunctional Feedback Processes," Rice, who is also co-director of the campus's Carsey-Wolf Center, offers a new vocabulary for identifying, understanding, and dealing with this pervasive organizational phenomenon.  12/14/10

Scientists Predict Continued Death of Forests in Southwestern U.S. If current climate projections hold true, the forests of the Southwestern United States face a bleak future, with more severe forest fires, higher tree death rates, more insect infestation, and weaker trees. The findings by university and government scientists are published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Our study shows that regardless of rainfall going up or down, forests in the Southwest U.S. are very sensitive to temperature — in fact, more sensitive than any forests in the country," said first author Park Williams, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography.  12/13/10

National Team of Scientists Peers into the Future of Stem Cell Biology Remarkable progress in understanding how stem cell biology works has been reported by a team of leading scientists, directed by experts at UCSB. Their research has been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Stem cell biology is making waves around the world with great hope for the eventual repair of parts of the body. While many scientists see these breakthroughs as viable, there are hurdles that must be overcome, including the worrisome potential for introducing cancer when making a repair to an organ. Kenneth Kosik, professor in UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, is senior author of the study.  12/9/10

UCSB Among Top Universities in High-Quality Research Citations UC Santa Barbara ranks among the top universities in the country in how frequently the work of its researchers is cited by other top scholars, according to a new analysis of U.S. university research by Thomson Reuters. In a recent issue, the journal Science published the Thomson Reuters list of the top American universities and how they rank in scientific paper citations, which is based on the quality of the research. UCSB is fourth in the nation in this category, behind only MIT, Caltech, and Princeton. Trailing UCSB were, in order, Stanford, Harvard, and UC Berkeley.  12/9/10

City Council Approves UCSB Request For Local Cable Channel Dedicated to Higher Education The Santa Barbara City Council has voted to officially request an additional education access channel from local cable television provider Cox Communications, and to enter into an agreement with UC Santa Barbara for the management and programming of it. The council's actions came in response to a request from UCSB. The campus said that the additional channel would be used for UCTV and other higher education programming produced by UCSB for the benefit of the people of Santa Barbara and the South Coast region.  12/7/10

'UCSB Reads' Picks 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by award-winning author Rebecca Skloot, is the selected book for UCSB Reads 2011. An annual winter quarter event, UCSB Reads engages the campus and the Santa Barbara community in conversations about a key topic while reading the same book. The theme for 2011 is "Our Bodies, Our Cells: Exploring Identity." Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer who, in 1951, became the unwitting donor of the first "immortal" human cell line when doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took a tissue sample without her knowledge. Even today, the HeLa line is the most widely used cell line in labs worldwide.  12/7/10

New NCEAS Study: Ravenous Pests Threaten National Treasures Foreign pests are eating their way through our national forests, destroying majestic scenery and costing taxpayers millions of dollars. If enforcement efforts to prevent their importation aren't stepped up, irreplaceable resources will be lost forever and taxpayers can expect to fork over billions of dollars by 2019, according to a comprehensive study published in BioScience. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Michigan State University, the University of Central Florida, and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service analyzed the impact of invasive insects and pathogens introduced into the United States through 2007.  12/6/10

Scientists Report Study of 'Brain Maps' for How Humans Reach Researchers have discovered that the brain uses different maps when planning to reach for an object, versus reaching for a place on the body. The scientists studied the brains of 18 individuals who made 400 distinct arm reaches as they lay in an MRI scanner. They found clear differences in brain planning activity with regard to the two types of reaching behavior. Their discovery is reported in the journal Neuron. "We're interested in movement planning and movement control," said Scott T. Grafton, professor of psychology. "We're looking at goal-directed behaviors, when we reach to grasp objects — visually defined objects in our environment. This forms the basis of our interactions with the world."   12/2/10

Geography Professor Michael Goodchild Awarded Dangermond Professorship Michael Goodchild, a global pioneer in geographic information science, is the first scholar appointed to the Jack and Laura Dangermond Professorship in geography. UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang expressed his sincere gratitude to the donors for their long-term philanthropic leadership. "The Jack and Laura Dangermond Chair will advance research and discovery at the frontiers of geography, continuously and richly expanding our understanding of the world," he said. "Our campus is proud that Professor Goodchild, one of the world's leading scientists in geospatial analysis and modeling, will be the inaugural chair holder."  12/2/10

Scientists Describe Science of Hurricanes, Other Swirling Phenomena Scientists can use cylinders as small as teapots to study the mechanisms involved in powerful hurricanes and other swirling natural phenomena. The earth's atmosphere and its molten outer core have one thing in common: Both contain powerful, swirling vortices. While in the atmosphere these vortices include cyclones and hurricanes; in the outer core they are essential for the formation of the earth's magnetic field. These phenomena in earth's interior and its atmosphere are both governed by the same natural mechanisms, according to Guenter Ahlers and other experimental physicists at UCSB. Using laboratory cylinders from 4 to 40 inches high, the team studied these underlying physical processes. The results are published in the journal Physical Review Letters.  11/29/10

Bacteria Use 'Toxic Darts' to Disable Each Other In nature, it's a dog-eat-dog world, even in the realm of bacteria. Competing bacteria use "toxic darts" to disable each other, according to a new study by UCSB biologists. Their research is published in the journal Nature. The scientists studied many bacterial species, including some important pathogens. They found that bacterial cells have stick-like proteins on their surfaces, with toxic dart tips. These darts are delivered to competing neighbor cells when the bacteria touch. "The discovery of toxic darts could eventually lead to new ways to control disease-causing pathogens," said Stephanie K. Aoki, first author and postdoctoral fellow in UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. 11/18/10

Professor Had Front-Row Seat at Guantanamo Trial When Canadian-born Omar Khadr pleaded guilty last month as part of an agreement with prosecutors at the U.S. military commission at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Lisa Hajjar, associate professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, was among the observers who witnessed the proceedings. The most serious of the five charges against Khadr, who has been held at the naval base since October 2002, was the killing of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002. The Pentagon accused Khadr of throwing a grenade that killed Special Forces Sgt. Christopher Speer. Khadr was 15 years old at the time. Since July, Hajjar has attended three hearings on his case, the most recent and final one in the last week of October. Her interest in Khadr's trial is part of a larger project that examines legal responses to American torture.  11/17/10

Sociologist Recognized for Research on Juvenile Crime, Gangs Victor Rios, assistant professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, has received the New Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology's Division on People of Color. The award recognizes scholars who, in the early stages of their careers, have made significant contributions to the literature on people of color and crime. Rios was honored for research that appears in six refereed journal articles and his forthcoming book, which explores juvenile crime policies and criminalization affect the everyday lives of urban youth. To conduct his research, Rios spent three years shadowing Latino and African American adolescents and young men in Oakland, who law enforcement, school officials, and others had categorized as delinquent.  11/16/10

Research Finds Increase in Arrests of Adolescent Girls According to Nikki Jones, associate professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, girls haven't gone wild, and the mean girl phenomenon is more hype than reality. What has increased, however, is the frequency with which they are arrested. In her new book, "Fighting for Girls — New Perspectives on Gender and Violence" (State University of New York Press, 2010), she asserts that zero-tolerance policies in schools and law enforcement's mandatory arrest policies make it appear as though incidents of aggression and violence are on the rise. In reality, it is the number of arrests — not levels of aggression — that shot up over the last two decades.  11/15/10

UCSB Part of Research Collaboration Focusing on Macular Degeneration An international collaboration between UCSB, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and several other research institutions is bringing together leaders in the fields of stem cell biology, basic science, and ophthalmology to develop a treatment for blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration. The California Project to Cure Blindness was formed with a $16 million California Institute for Regenerative Medicine "disease team" grant awarded in late 2009 to fund development of a stem cell-based treatment for age-related macular degeneration.  11/15/10

68 Students Win Public Anthropology Awards Sixty-eight undergraduate students have been named Public Anthropology Award winners by the Center for a Public Anthropology. The students are enrolled in the Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course taught by Casey Walsh, associate professor of anthropology. They are among 4,000 students from 21 universities in North America who took part in the competition. A total of 764 students in Walsh's class participated, and, with 68 winners, UCSB captured roughly one-third of the total awards.  11/10/10

New Timeline for Appearances of Skeletal Animals in Fossil Record Beginning around 542 million years ago, a profusion of animals with shells and skeletons began to appear in the fossil record. So many life forms appeared during this time that it is often referred to as the "Cambrian Explosion." Geologists at UCSB and a team of co-authors have proposed a rethinking of the timeline of these early animal appearances. Their findings are published in the latest issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin. "We found that with improved dating and correlation of rock sequences, the short burst of appearances goes away." said Susannah Porter, associate professor in the Department of Earth Science, who was joined in her research by graduate student John Moore.  11/9/10

New Ribbon Worm Named After Scientist A new species of worm — the Carcinonemertes kurisi — has been named for Armand Kuris, professor of zoology in UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. "When a species is named after you, that is forever," said Kuris. "It's quite an honor. One hundred years from now, when we're all gone, people will wonder who that Kuris guy was. I also like that it is a pretty worm on a nice crab." Patricia S. Sadeghian, a former student of Kuris, named the species after him in an article in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Natural History.  11/4/10

Davidson Library Reaches 3 Million UC Santa Barbara's Davidson Library is celebrating the acquisition of its 3 millionth volume — the artist's book "Trees" by Charles Hobson. "Trees" (San Francisco: Pacific Editions, 2010) is a visual presentation of the poem by W. S. Merwin, who was recently named the 17th poet laureate of the United States. The limited edition is housed in a wooden box, and the hinged pages and monotype images can be read both horizontally and vertically. The book is accompanied by a tiny flashlight, which, when shone through the opening at the back of the book, casts shadows of trees against a night sky.  11/3/10

Research Center Developing Next-Generation Ethernet Imagine if all the data traversing the world right now could be sent through a single fiber the width of a human hair. A new research center has been launched at UCSB to make that a reality. Researchers with the Terabit Optical Ethernet Center will develop the technology necessary for a new generation of Ethernet a thousand times faster, and much more energy efficient, than today's most advanced networks.

Technology Developed by Computer Scientist Advances Internet Security Christopher Kruegel, associate professor of computer science, has developed new security software that can identify and neutralize viruses after they've infected a user's machine. Rather than coming between a computer and the virus, Kruegel's security software comes between the infected computer and the malicious master server that has taken control of it. Kruegel's accomplishments in Internet security, particularly in developing software that shuts down botnets, was recognized in the current issue of M.I.T.'s Technology Review. Kruegel was named to the magazine's TR35, a list of 35 outstanding innovators under the age of 35.  10/26/10

Historian Examines Ford, Carter Presidencies and the Rise of Conservatism In her new book, "Right Star Rising — A New Politics, 1974-1980" (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), Laura Kalman, professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, examines the politics of the 1970's and how it led to the growth of conservatism and the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan. She suggests that the conservative movement is a product not just of the convergance of different varieties of conservatism, but of the ineffectual presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter as well.  10/25/10

New Book by Environmental Studies Scholar Examines Gulf Oil Spill On April 22, 2010, the gigantic drilling rig Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico, two days after an explosion took the lives of 11 crewmembers, starting the worst offshore oil disaster in history. In a new book, titled "Blowout in the Gulf — The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America" (The MIT Press, 2010), authors William Freudenburg, Dehlsen Professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and Robert Gramling, professor of sociology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, examine the disaster itself, as well as the corporate decisions and governmental policies that led up to it.  10/21/10

Scientists Document How Fishing on Coral Reefs Can Alter Ecosystems Scientists have discovered that fishing for predators on coral reefs not only reduces the number of predators on the reef, but also affects the behavior of their prey — and can have a significant impact on the ecosystem. In a pair of studies, the UCSB scientists found that when hunted by large predators, small fish tend to hide in reefs and move around less. When the number of predators is reduced by fishing, their prey move greater distances, take more risks, and change their feeding behaviors. They also found that these individual behavior patterns can scale up to drive significant ecosystem changes.  10/21/10

Frontal Lobe of Brain is Key to Automatic Responses to Stimuli Some people may excel at riding a bike, tying a tie, or playing the piano, but those same people may find it difficult to explain or teach those skills to someone else. These motor skills are learned in one part of the brain, whereas classroom instruction and information read in a book are acquired in another area of the brain, according to F. Gregory Ashby, professor and chair of UCSB's Department of Psychology. A study of different categories of learning is reported by Ashby and his research team in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. "Automatic behaviors are stored in similar ways, in the frontal cortex, regardless which system of the brain learned it first," said Ashby.  10/20/10

Research Center Developing Next-Generation Ethernet Imagine if all the data traversing the world right now could be sent through a single fiber the width of a human hair. A new research center has been launched at UCSB to make that a reality. Researchers with the Terabit Optical Ethernet Center will develop the technology necessary for a new generation of Ethernet a thousand times faster, and much more energy efficient, than today's most advanced networks.  10/20/10

Alumni Association Names Joseph H. Pollock Honorary Alumnus The UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association will honor philanthropist Joseph H. Pollock as an Honorary Alumnus in recognition of his vision and service as a patron of film and media studies at UC Santa Barbara. "The UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association is extremely honored to celebrate Dr. Pollock as an alumnus of UC Santa Barbara, where he has done so much to support the high caliber of the university's academic and community missions," said Ron Rubenstein, president of the Alumni Association board of directors. The award highlights the commitment and generosity of Pollock and his wife, Helene, over a decade that has culminated in the Pollock Theater at the UCSB Carsey-Wolf Center. The recently completed 300-seat theater, which will have formal openings during winter and spring, is an unparalleled state-of-the-art film, digital video and surround sound facility.

Engineering Professor Awarded Packard Fellowship Michael Gordon, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has received a Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. The award — one of the largest nongovernmental fellowships in the country — will provide Gordon with $875,000 over five years to support his research on advanced microscopy techniques for examining structures and surfaces at a minute scale. Gordon intends to develop a scanning chemical microscope for detection, identification and high-resolution imaging of biomolecules and surfaces.  10/15/10

Scientists Discover Inner Workings of Potent Cancer Drug A potent drug derived from an evergreen tree may soon save the lives of some patients with the deadliest form of breast cancer. Scientists have discovered the mechanism by which this drug kills cancer cells. The results are reported in two studies published as the cover story of the October issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. "This anticancer drug, called maytansine, when linked to a tumor-targeting antibody, shows promising early results in clinical trials on patients with metastatic breast cancer," said Mary Ann Jordan, professor of biology. Other UCSB researchers are Leslie Wilson, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology, and Manu Lopus, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSB  10/14/10

Physicists Detect and Control Quantum States in Diamond with Light Physicists at UCSB have succeeded in combining laser light with trapped electrons to detect and control the electrons' fragile quantum state without erasing it. This is an important step toward using quantum physics to expand computing power and to communicate over long distances without the possibility of eavesdropping. Using electrons trapped in a single atom-sized defect within a thin crystal of diamond, combined with laser light of precisely the right color, the scientists showed that it was possible to briefly form a mixture of light and matter.  10/14/10

Annual Philanthropic Support Reaches $44.5 Million in 2009-10 As UC Santa Barbara grappled with huge reductions in state funding during 2009-2010, alumni, parents, and friends responded with overwhelming generosity, contributing $44.5 million for scholarships, teaching, research, and academic programs, an increase of nearly $4 million over the previous year. Thus far, the multi-year Campaign for UC Santa Barbara has generated almost $590 million for priority projects and initiatives that will help ensure the campus's excellence for future generations. 10/6/10

Research Questions Accuracy of Maya Calendar Correlation, 2012 Prophecy For nearly half a century, Maya scholars have relied on a fixed numerical value called the GMT constant as a means of correlating the dates on the ancient Maya calendar with those on the modern Gregorian calendar. Now, however, research conducted by Gerardo Aldana, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, suggests that the GMT constant could be inaccurate by 50 to 100 years, or more. Aldana's findings challenge the accepted Gregorian dates of all Classic Mayan historical events, as well as the end-of-the-world 2012 prophecies. His research is included in "Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World," the second in a series edited by John Steele of Brown University.  10/5/10

Researchers Release Findings of 2010 Central Coast Survey Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have released the findings of the 2010 Central Coast Survey, a large-scale public-opinion poll of residents in Santa Barbara County on a variety of issues affecting quality of life in the region. Conducted by UCSB's Social Science Survey Center, the periodic Central Coast Survey features telephone interviews with members of more than 800 households, both English- and Spanish-speaking. The results of the survey tap the public's attitudes on a wide range of important issues, from quality of life and the economy, to land use, growth, and development. This year's survey also gave special emphasis to issues of agriculture, environmentalism, and local food and food security.  10/4/10

Quantum Computing Research Edges Toward Practicality in UCSB Physics Laboratory An important step — one that is essential to the ultimate construction of a quantum computer — was taken for the first time by UCSB physicists. The discovery is published in the current issue of the journal Nature. The research encompasses the concept of entanglement. "Entanglement is one of the strangest and most counterintuitive features of quantum mechanics," said Matthew Neeley, graduate student and first author. "It is a property of certain kinds of quantum states in which different parts of the system are strongly correlated with each other." The team studied multipartite entanglement, involving three qubits instead of only two 10/4/10

Assistant Professor to Receive Prestigious NIH New Innovator Award Luke Theogarajan, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Chemical Engineering, has been chosen to receive the prestigious 2010 New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health. "I am very honored and humbled to be chosen for this," said Theogarajan. "This is a great opportunity. It helps me explore something to the fullest capacity without being held back." Theorgarajan is one of only 52 out of 2,200 applicants to receive the New Innovator Award from the NIH. He is also one of only a few engineers designated as direct recipients of the $1.5 million research award.  9/30/10

Capps Center Receives $500,000 Endowment Gift for Undergraduate Internships UC Santa Barbara has received a $500,000 gift from campus benefactor Sara Miller McCune to establish an endowment that will provide ongoing support for the student intern and public service program at the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life. In recognition of her gift, the program will be named in McCune's honor. The recent contribution will help enrich the education of UCSB undergraduates by providing additional opportunities for students to participate in the center's highly competitive, yearlong internship program. 9/29/10

Alumnus Amir Abo-Shaeer Awarded MacArthur Fellowship UC Santa Barbara alumnus Amir Abo-Shaeer has won a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his work with the Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy in Goleta, Calif. Academy Director Abo-Shaeer is the first public high school teacher to receive a MacArthur "genius grant." Physics teacher Abo-Shaeer, 38, will receive a stipend of $500,000 to use at his discretion to pursue his own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. He has hopes to train other educators about his curriculum and student recruitment innovations.  9/29/10

$2 Million Awarded for Nanotechnology and Health Studies The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, is awarding $2 million to UCSB as part of the renewal of its Programs for Nanotechnology Research. The program is focused on helping researchers develop tools based on materials designed at the molecular level to detect and deliver treatments for heart, lung, and blood diseases. Craig Hawker, professor of materials, chemistry, and director of the Materials Research Laboratory at UCSB, said: "Through collaborations with some of the best medical schools in the U.S., our long-term goal is to apply these nanotechnology systems to clinical diagnosis and therapeutics for major unmet U.S. medical issues."  9/29/10

Graduate Programs Among Top in U.S., According to New NRC Assessment The National Research Council (NRC) has published its long-awaited report evaluating over 5,000 doctoral programs in 62 fields at 212 universities in the United States. UCSB has significantly improved its position among research universities in this new NRC assessment. "UC Santa Barbara is very proud that among our 31 doctoral programs assessed by the NRC, 10 programs, or nearly a third, have a range of rankings reaching into the top five in the country; 14, or 45 percent, are in the range of the top 10; and 20, or nearly two-thirds, are in the range of the top 20," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang.  9/28/10

Astrophysicist Lars Bildsten Appointed to Endowed Chair at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics Astrophysicist Lars Bildsten, a permanent member of UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, has been awarded the Wayne Rosing, Simon and Diana Raab Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the discipline. The endowed chair was established recently with a combined $1 million gift from the donors. As a result, The Kavli Foundation expanded its endowment support for the world-renowned physics research center with a $1 million matching contribution. 9/27/10

New Species of Sea Slug Discovered by Marine Scientist A new species of sea slug was discovered by Jeff Goddard, project scientist with the Marine Science Institute. Goddard was working in the tide pools at Carpinteria Reef when he found a new species of nudibranch — a group of sea slugs noted for their bright colors and delicate forms. Terrence M. Gosliner, an authority on the taxonomy of sea slugs at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, named the new species after Goddard in the Sept. 15 online edition of the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences.  9/22/10

Scientists' Innovative Use of Videos Aids Study of Songbird Communication Stephen Rothstein, professor of zoology, and Adrian O'Loghlen, a research scientist in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, have documented how male brown-headed cowbirds use songs and physical displays to elicit responses from females. Their studies are the first to use video recordings of males to show that the visual components of singing behavior can influence the sexual responses of female songbirds.  9/20/10

UC Regents Approve Long Range Development Plan The Board of Regents of the University of California voted to adopt UC Santa Barbara's Long Range Development Plan, a comprehensive land-use document that will guide campus planning and development through the year 2025. The governing board of the UC system acted on the unanimous recommendations of its Grounds and Buildings Committee and its Finance Committee to approve the plan and its mitigation and cooperation agreements, and to certify its Environmental Impact Report. Because the UCSB campus is located in the coastal zone, the LRDP now goes to the California Coastal Commission for review and approval.  9/16/10

Scientists Document Fate of Deep Hydrocarbon Plumes in Gulf Oil Spill In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists led by UCSB's David Valentine and Texas A&M University's John Kessler embarked on a research cruise with an urgent mission: determining the fate and impact of hydrocarbon gases escaping from a deep-water oil spill. The spill provided a rare opportunity for Valentine and Kessler to study the behavior of methane and other natural gases in the Gulf of Mexico. Their study, "Propane respiration jump-starts microbial response to a deep oil spill," has been published in the journal Science.  9/16/10

Parasitic 'Warrior Worms' Discovered in Snails Scientists at UCSB have discovered a caste of genetically identical 'warrior worms' — members of a parasitic fluke species that invades the California horn snail. The findings are reported in the early online version of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "We have discovered flatworms in colonies with vicious, killer morphs defending the colony," said Armand M. Kuris, professor of zoology, in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. "These flukes have a strongly developed social organization, much like some insects, mammals, and birds." The tiny warrior worms are only a couple of millimeters in length, yet they are powerful thanks to relatively large mouths.  9/15/10

Professor Receives Award from Materials Research Society David D. Awschalom, professor of physics, electrical and computer engineering, and the Peter J. Clarke Director of the California Nanosystems Institute at UCSB, has received the Turnbull Lecturer Award from the Materials Research Society. The Turnbull Lecturer Award recognizes the career of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to understanding materials phenomena and properties through research, writing, and lecturing, as exemplified by David Turnbull.  9/14/10

Nanodiamonds Discovered in Greenland Ice Sheet Nanosize diamonds have been discovered in the Greenland ice sheet, according to a study reported by scientists in a recent online publication of the Journal of Glaciology. The finding adds credence to the controversial hypothesis that fragments of a comet struck across North America and Europe approximately 12,900 years ago. "There is a layer in the ice with a great abundance of diamonds," said co-author James Kennett, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth Science. "Most exciting to us is that this is the first such discrete layer of diamonds ever found in glacial ice anywhere on Earth, including the huge polar ice sheets and the alpine glaciers."  9/9/10

Spread of Gulf Oil Slick Predicted by Mechanical Engineering Professor   In the weeks after the Deepwater Horizon accident, as plumes of oil rose from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico to form vast slicks on the sea surface, Igor Mezic decided to figure out a better way of predicting how that oil would spread. Using his new method, Mezic successfully forecast where and when spilled oil would wash ashore. "We predicted where the oil was going to go," says Mezic, a professor of mechanical engineering who studies fluid dynamics. "We were able to do 3-day predictions pretty accurately."  9/2/10

Scholar Studies Life of Agnes Boulton, Wife of Playwright Eugene O'Neill  In her 1958 memoir "Part of a Long Story - Eugene O'Neill as a Young Man in Love," second wife Agnes Boulton describes the early years of her tumultuous marriage to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Using Boulton's work as a starting point, William Davies King, a professor of theater, has published a new book that tells the story of a woman trying to define herself in the early 20th century. In "Another Part of a Long Story — Literary Traces of Eugene O'Neill & Agnes Boulton," King examines the dynamics of their literary marriage and retrieves Boulton and her work from the dark recesses of literary history. 9/1/10

Developments in Nanobiotechnology Point to Medical Applications Two new groundbreaking scientific papers by researchers at UC Santa Barbara demonstrate the synthesis of nanosize biological particles with the potential to fight cancer and other illnesses. Luc Jaeger, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and his research team are putting together complex three-dimensional RNA molecules — nanosize polyhedrons that could be used to fight disease. The molecules self assemble into the new shapes.  8/31/10

Worms Point to a Link Between Cellular Glue and Cancer Growth Scientists have discovered that a protein that helps make cells sticks together also keeps them from dividing excessively, a hallmark of cancer progression. The discovery could lead to new ways to control cancer. The findings were described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Joel H. Rothman, a biology professor and chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at UC Santa Barbara, is a co-author. Working with a tiny roundworm known as C. elegans, the scientists discovered that a protein called Fer, which acts with other proteins to glue cells together, also prevents them from dividing excessively. 8/30/10

Scholar Traces Evolution of Charlie Chan from Pop Icon to Postmodern Symbol   As the fictional hero of six detective novels and 47 Hollywood films, Charlie Chan was a popular literary figure as well as a stereotype that long defined America's distorted perceptions of Asians and Asian Americans. In his new book, "Charlie Chan — The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History" (W.W. Norton, 2010), Yunte Huang, professor of English at UCSB, traces Chan's evolution from island legend to pop culture icon to vilified postmodern symbol. 8/25/10 

UCSB Ranked Among Top 10 Public Universities by U.S. News & World Report  U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Santa Barbara number 9 in its annual listing of the "Top 50 Public National Universities" in the country, and number 39 on its list of the "Best National Universities." These are the highest rankings ever for UCSB in the U.S. News listings. 8/17/10  In addition, UCSB has been ranked number 11 in a list of the Top 30 National Universities released by Washington Monthly magazine. 8/23/10

Feminist Studies Scholar Examines Care Work and Other Forms of Intimate Labor  In her new book, "Intimate Labors — Culture, Technologies, and the Politics of Care," Eileen Boris, the Hull Professor and Chair of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Barbara, takes a close look at care work, domestic work, and sex work in everyday life, and shines a light on the juncture where money and intimacy meet. Boris and her co-editor, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, present a comprehensive investigation into gender, race, class, and other power relations in the context of global economic transformations. 8/12/10 

UCSB Awarded Additional $4 Million by the National Science Foundation For Research and Training Partnership with China  The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed and increased funding for UC Santa Barbara's pioneering research and education partnership with China in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science. The UCSB project will focus on technological research of international importance related to the development of clean energy and energy conservation. Over the next five years, the campus will receive a total of $4 million — an increase of $1.5 million over the previous award — to expand collaborations with leading universities and research institutes in China. The NSF funds will also support the development of a new alliance with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the Fritz Haber Institute both in China and Germany. 8/9/10 

Genomic Sequencing of Marine Sponge Published  The publication of the complete genomic sequence of a living marine sponge reveals genes dating back hundreds of millions of years — a result far exceeding the expectations of the scientific world. Four scientists from UCSB contributed to the sequencing of the genome of a Great Barrier Reef marine sponge, from a 650 million-year-old group of organisms — a project that indicates there were astonishingly rich genetic resources available at the dawn of the animal kingdom. The sequencing also reveals some basic information about cancer. The findings are published in the August 5th issue of the scientific journal Nature. 8/4/10 

UCSB Writing Program Welcomes New Director  Linda Adler-Kassner, a professor of writing, has joined the Writing Program at UC Santa Barbara as its new director. She replaces acting co-directors Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure, who served in that capacity since the retirement of former director Susan McLeod in 2008. Adler-Kassner comes to UCSB from Eastern Michigan University, where she was director of First-Year Writing and director of the University Writing Center. 8/3/10 

UCSB Professor Sees Medical Breakthrough in New Bone Measurement Tool  Paul Hansma, a professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has focused on biophysical research and the study of human bones. His renowned bone tissue research has led him to what he believes will be a significant step in the study of biomaterials: development of a new medical diagnostic tool — the Reference Point Indentation (RPI) instrument. Hansma is a co-author of a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. In the study, "Microindentation for in vivo Measurement of Bone Tissue Mechanical Properties in Humans," Hansma and his co-authors say they have validated the RPI as a new tool for measuring the strength and quality of bones by using live human test subjects. 8/2/10 

UCSB's External Research Funding for 2009-10 Breaks Record  Research support from external sources broke all previous records at UC Santa Barbara during the 2009-10 fiscal year. A total of $222 million was received from federal and state agencies, corporations, and nonprofits in fiscal 2010 — a 28 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. The increase in extramural funding, which has doubled over the past 10 years, is mostly due to increased funding from federal research agencies. UCSB received $192 million in federal funding, including $67 million from the National Science Foundation. 7/29/10 

SAGE Publications Gives Additional $1.45 Million to UCSB's SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind  SAGE Publications, Inc., of Thousand Oaks, has made an additional $1.45 million gift to renew and expand its support for the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at UC Santa Barbara. The recent gift is for the center's distinguished visiting scholar program and lecture series. It will enable the SAGE Center to bring leading researchers to campus for extended periods of time to explore the multidimensional nature of the human mind and participate in educational seminars, workshops, and public lectures focusing on issues in neuroscience. 7/27/10

UCSB Part of DOE's $122 Million 'Artificial Synthesis' Project  UCSB's Eric McFarland, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, will be participating in an ambitious project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The goal of the $122 million project is to develop a cost-effective method of generating energy from sunlight by mimicking photosynthesis, the process plants use to produce energy. McFarland will help develop automated systems that will allow enormous numbers of chemical compounds to be rapidly synthesized and screened to identify those with the most potential for use in an artificial photosynthesis system. 7/27/10

Economics Professor Peter Rupert Named Director of UCSB Economic Forecast Project  UC Santa Barbara has announced the appointment of economics professor Peter Rupert as director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, a research unit that provides economic data, analysis, and forecasts to the community. Rupert, who joined the UCSB faculty in 2007, came to Santa Barbara from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, where he had been a senior economic adviser for 13 years. The appointment is part of an overall restructuring of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, which will now focus its attention much more sharply on Santa Barbara County. 7/26/10

UCSB Researcher Co-Authors New Study of Magnon Hall Effect in Insulators
In a paper published in this week's edition of the journal Science, UC Santa Barbara's Hosho Katsura, a postdoctoral researcher at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, and five other co-authors say they have observed a magnon Hall effect in magnets. Katsura said that the research ultimately could be helpful in the manufacture of all electronic devices. 7/20/10

UCSB's Center for Black Studies Research Selected as Headquarters for University of California Haiti Initiative  The Center for Black Studies Research at UC Santa Barbara has been selected as the headquarters for the UC Haiti Initiative (UCHI), a systemwide collaboration of students, faculty, staff, researchers, and alumni contributing their skills and experience toward Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction. The UCHI board of directors includes medical doctors, engineers, educators, agronomists, and other skilled professionals who will assist in developing resources in Haiti. 7/20/10

UCSB Is a Leader Among Graduates Selected by Teach for America
Thirty-one UC Santa Barbara graduates have been selected by Teach for America to work as beginning teachers in public schools in low-income communities across the country. The campus is among the top 20 large universities with the greatest number of students admitted to the highly competitive, nonprofit public service program. 7/15/10

UCSB Chemistry Professor Receives Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award  Song-I Han, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, has received a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. She is one of 14 recipients from universities across the United States. The award, which supports the teaching and research of talented young faculty members in the chemical sciences, is presented by The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The award consists of a $75,000 research grant, which will help support the innovative work of Han's group in unraveling the role of hydration water dynamics in protein interaction and function. 7/12/10

New Book Edited by UCSB English Scholar Addresses Question of Enlightenment  Debates about the nature of the Enlightenment date to the 18th century, when philosopher Imanual Kant posed the question, "What is Enlightenment?" A new book co-edited by William Warner, professor of English at UC Santa Barbara, offers a paradigm-shifting answer to that now-famous query: Enlightenment is an event in the history of mediation. In "This Is Enlightenment," Warner and his co-author establish mediation as the condition of possibility for enlightenment. In so doing, they not only answer Kant's question, but make a broader query of their own: How would foregrounding mediation change the kinds and areas of inquiry in our own epoch? 7/9/10

Two UCSB Buildings Receive LEED Certifications From Green Building Council  UC Santa Barbara's Life Sciences and Engineering II buildings have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the USGBC's rating system for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy efficient, and high-performing buildings. A recent addition to the Engineering II building received LEED Gold certification in the New Construction category, while the Life Sciences Building received a LEED Silver certification in the Existing Buildings category. 7/8/10

NCEAS Study Analyzes Worldwide Catch, Economic Data of Fisheries  A graduate student working group at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) has done a new study of the world's fisheries for an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It's the first-ever analysis of worldwide catch and economic data for the past 55 years. 7/1/10