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Brain May Not Need Body Movements to Learn Virtual Spaces

September 18, 2019

Virtual reality is becoming increasingly present in our everyday lives, from online tours of homes for sale to high-tech headsets that immerse gamers in hyper-realistic digital worlds. While its entertainment value is well-established, virtual reality also has vast potential for practical uses that are just beginning to be explored.

Pockets of Primordial Earth Still Remain

September 18, 2019
New research suggests specific giant rock regions in the mantle have existed for 4.5 billion years, since Earth’s beginning.

Why negative campaigning works — and how to fight it

September 13, 2019
Our brains are hard-wired to remember insults and attacks — which explains why so many political campaigns go negative. Research by psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood also finds a bright side: You can train your brain to flip the script.

Campus Invests in Data Science, Immigration Research

September 12, 2019
The University of California, Davis, is investing $4 million over three years to launch four new research centers that align campus strengths with unique opportunities for global impact. Two of the four centers are led by faculty in the College of Letters and Science.

Historian's Podcasts Examine Conspiracy Theories

September 05, 2019
Delve into popular conspiracy theories this month with a new podcast from Kathryn Olmsted, professor of history in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. Olmsted has launched a four-episode “State of Conspiracy” series on the site Crooked Media.

Projects Connect Art and Science in Paris and Davis

September 05, 2019
 

Artists and scientists led by UC Davis College of Letters and Science faculty will merge their talents and techniques, both physical and mental, to challenge themselves during a weeklong symposium in Paris.

Xiaodong Li Wins NSF Career Award

September 05, 2019

Xiaodong Li, assistant professor of statistics in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, has received a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program supports junior faculty who perform outstanding research, are excellent educators, and integrate outreach in their work.

Understanding How Pressures in Planets Evolve

September 04, 2019

A new study from Caltech and the UC Davis College of Letters and Science shows that giant impacts can dramatically lower the internal pressure of planets, a finding that could significantly change the current model of planetary formation.

Asked and Answered: Why Haven’t All Primates Evolved Into Humans?

August 30, 2019
Many people mistakenly think of evolution as progress. But humans, despite their ability to manipulate objects and change their environment, are not “on top” of the world’s species. Research by Lynn Isbell, chair of the UC Davis Department of Anthropology, suggests that ancestral humans and other primates developed different strategies to find food and avoid predators.

New Unified Theory of Heat Transport Enables Materials Design

August 28, 2019

A new theory of heat transport will make it easier to simulate properties of materials, with implications for technology, energy systems and planetary sciences.

Heat flows from warm areas to cool just as time flows from past to future and is a defining feature of physics. Yet scientists have found it surprisingly hard to build a theory of heat transport that works for both glasses and crystalline solids. That makes it difficult to model heat flow through materials, such as electronic components or the Earth’s mantle.

Students’ Biodegradable Diaper Project Continues to Grow

August 21, 2019
Excitement for a biodegradable diaper designed by UC Davis students just keeps growing, like the bacterial cellulose the diaper is made from. The student group, dubbed Team Sorbit, was motivated to create the diaper by data showing about 4 million tons of disposable diapers end up in landfills, and the plastic and tree-pulp derived cellulose used in most diapers isn’t environmentally friendly.

Brain Molecule Identified as Key in Anxiety Model

August 15, 2019
Boosting a single molecule in the brain can change “dispositional anxiety,” the tendency to perceive many situations as threatening, in nonhuman primates, researchers from UC Davis, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found. The molecule, neurotrophin-3, stimulates neurons to grow and make new connections. The finding provides hope for new strategies focused on intervening early in life to treat people at risk for anxiety disorders, depression and related substance abuse. Current treatments work for only a subset of people and often only partially relieve symptoms. 

Doctoral Student Leads Mural Project on Border Wall

August 15, 2019

A UC Davis student is telling the stories of people who came to the United States as young, undocumented immigrants, and she’s doing it in one of the most prominent places imaginable: the razor wire-topped border wall in Tijuana.

Faculty Fellowships Provide Freedom for Research

August 09, 2019

From the history of black women chefs to a documentary film on dwarfism to African music in Brazil, the UC Davis Humanities Institute’s new faculty research fellows will pursue a wide range of topics this year. The fellowship promotes interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, who will meet weekly to discuss their research and creative work.