Science

Scientists Capture ‘Quantum Tug’ Between Water Molecules

A team that includes researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, UC Davis and Stockholm University in Sweden have made the first direct observation of how hydrogen atoms in water molecules tug and push neighboring water molecules when they are excited with laser light.

LGBTQ+ Youth Face Increased Anxiety Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

While a life-altering pandemic has caused a substantial uptick in anxiety and depression symptoms among adults and children alike, LGBTQ+ youth have turned to peers in anonymous online discussion forums for support. New research from UC Davis suggests these LGBTQ+ teenagers — who already experience disproportionate levels of psychological adversity — exhibited increased anxiety on the popular r/LGBTeens subreddit throughout 2020 and the start of 2021.

Psychology Chair Named to Federal Autism Panel

Susan Rivera, a professor and chair of psychology at UC Davis, has been named to a committee advising the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on autism research, services and policy. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra appointed Rivera and 21 others this month to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

Two Biofuels Research Grants to Chemistry Faculty

UC Davis researchers are taking part in clean energy grants totaling almost $4.5 million recently announced by the U.S. Department of Energy. The grants are among 15 funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) with the goal of making production of biofuels more efficient.

New, Third Type of Supernova Observed

An international team of astronomers has observed the first example of a new type of supernova. The discovery, confirming a prediction made four decades ago, could lead to new insights into the life and death of stars.

That Song Is Stuck in Your Head, but It’s Helping You to Remember

If you have watched TV since the ’90s, the sitcom theme song, “I’ll Be There For You,” has likely been stuck in your head at one point or another. New research from UC Davis suggests these experiences are more than a passing nuisance — they play an important role in helping memories form, not only for the song, but also related life events like hanging out with friends — or watching other people hang with their friends on the ’90s television show, "Friends."

Gorilla Expert Featured in BBC/Discovery+ Documentary

A new documentary, Endangered, produced by Discovery and the BBC Natural History Unit, features UC Davis anthropologist Damien Caillaud’s work to study and protect Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

PsychLight Sensor to Enable Discovery of New Psychiatric Drugs

A genetically encoded fluorescent sensor to detect hallucinogenic compounds has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis. Named psychLight, the sensor could be used in discovering new treatments for mental illness, in neuroscience research and to detect drugs of abuse.

Chemistry and Physics Professors Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Two rising stars in the sciences have received prestigious CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program recognizes junior faculty who conduct outstanding research, are excellent educators and include education or community outreach in their work.

Data Science Major Coming in Fall ’22

UC Davis will debut its new interdisciplinary data science major in fall 2022, providing a career pathway for undergraduates who plan to become leaders in this cutting-edge field.

Making Decisions Based on How We Feel About Memories, Not Accuracy

When we recall a memory, we retrieve specific details about it: where, when, with whom. But we often also experience a vivid feeling of remembering the event, sometimes almost reliving it. Memory researchers call these processes objective and subjective memory, respectively. A new study from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis shows that objective and subjective memory can function independently, involve different parts of the brain, and that people base their decisions on subjective memory — how they feel about a memory — more than on its accuracy.