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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Science tips: Smart contact lenses, superconductors, software as art, parasitic plants

This month’s batch of science tips covers a good cross-section of the campus, from condensed-matter physics to plant biology. I do have an interesting job. Smart Contact Lenses Tingrui Pan and Hailing Cong in the Department of Biomedical Engineering have …
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NASA turns 50: the UC Davis connections

If you’ve been to the Google home page this morning and clicked through the doodle, you’ll know that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was established on July 29, 1958. To mark the occasion, here’s a roundup of UC Davis …
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The New Yorker on Garrett Lisi and the Theory of Everything

Last week’s New Yorker carried a lengthy article about Garrett Lisi, the surfer/snowboard dude who might have come up with a “Theory of Everything” that unites gravity and the other physical forces into one tidy theory.While some theoretical physicists have …
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The lid comes off the LSST

About 10 am July 23, staff at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab cracked the lid of the furnace where two of the three mirrors for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope have been cast. The casting is described …
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Raising soil, lowering carbon in the Delta

The California Department of Water Resources has awarded a $12 M, three-year grant to the U.S. Geological Survey and UC Davis for a project exploring “carbon farming” in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. Traditional farming practices expose fragile peat soils that …
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Plant parasite shows vulnerability

Dodder vines are parasites that live on other plants. Most species have abandoned photosynthesis and regular roots, and live by plumbing themselves into a host plant’s vascular system (phloem) to suck up water and other nutrients. A new study from …
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Prop 2 could batter egg industry

Proposition 2, set for the November ballot in California, would require that farm animals including egg-laying hens be able to¬† “fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up, and turn around“ for the majority of the day, without …
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Smart contact lenses

UC Davis biomedical engineers Tingrui Pan and Hailing Cong have developed a method for making a transparent, flexible material (polydimethylsiloxane) with patterns of conductive wires etched onto it in silver. They have successfully shaped the material into a convex shape …
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Humming fish and the beginnings of speech

The brain wiring that allows us to sing, shout or talk probably evolved in fish 400 million years ago, according to a study published this week in the journal Science. Andrew Bass, a Cornell University researcher has been visiting UC …
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Dan Sumner’s Q&A on Freakonomics blog

UC Davis ag economist Daniel Sumner is taking questions on the New York Times Freakanomics blog on topics related to agricultural subsidies, food supplies and food scares. As I’m writing this there are already 43 questions posted in the comments …
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