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Elizabeth Arakelian

Campus Wastewater Testing Offers COVID-19 Early Warning System, Establishes Protocols for the Future

COVID-19 upended life as we know it, especially among the science community. While some scientists rushed to develop a vaccine, others sought a better understanding of the virus, hoping to predict where the next outbreak might be in order to better contain it. At UC Merced, this included testing the campus’s wastewater.

UC Merced’s campus has many buildings, but just one pipe through which wastewater leaves the campus. This turned out to be helpful to discern whether there would be forthcoming positive COVID-19 test results.

Spencer Lab Publishes New Technique for Live Imaging

Some scientific discoveries are a happy accident (think: penicillin). Others have been there all along, they just take a keen eye to notice, which was recently the case in Professor Joel Spencer’s lab.

An observation Spencer made during his postdoctoral appointment at Harvard University laid the groundwork for his most recent publication in PLoS ONE titled “Intravital Fluorescence Microscopy with Negative Contrast.”

USDA-funded Internship Program Introduced New Bobcats to Agriculture Research

Shortly before the fall semester kicked off in person, 11 students were wrapping up their first summer on campus as part of the FACTS summer bridge program.

FACTS stands for San Joaquin Valley Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics Tools and Science. The six-week summer course, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, introduces students to the world of research in agricultural science and technology.

OMRON Endowed Scholarship to Help Engineering Students in the Robotics Field

Many UC Merced students are first-generation college students, meaning they are the first in their families to pursue college degrees and the types of careers having a degree affords. UC Merced’s strong relationships with industry partners plays a key role in helping students navigate these career paths. A new partnership between the School of Engineering and OMRON Robotics and Safety Technologies will help students find opportunities in the robotics field.

Keske Publication Shows Central Valley Ripe for Biochar Studies

Central Valley natives are accustomed to seeing plumes of smoke from burning tree piles after harvest. This is the traditional way farmers dispose of crop waste, such as trees, nut shells and pruned vines. But there may be a better way to get rid of residual orchard waste that is less harmful to the environment according to research conducted by Professor Catherine Keske.

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