iMobot modular robot technology licensed

UC Davis has signed an exclusive license agreement with Barobo, Inc. of West Sacramento, Calif., to commercialize the modular robot technology called “iMobot” – an Intelligent Modular Robot for applications in research, education, industry, search and rescue, military operation, and law enforcement. The license agreement covers the design of iMobot, giving it unique mobility developed by the Integration Engineering Laboratory at UC Davis.

Commercial robots are usually built for specific applications. Modular robots are different kinds of robots. Similar to Lego, iMobot is designed as a building block. However, unlike Lego, a single iMobot module is a fully functional robot with four controllable degrees of freedom. iMobot can roll, crawl, and creep.iMobot in camera platform mode

Democracy in the Middle East leads UC Davis magazine summer issue

(From Kathleen Holder, editor of UC Davis Magazine)

The latest issue of UC Davis Magazine is now in the mail and most of the content is also online.

Features this issue are:

Building democracy in the Middle East,” which quotes a number of scholars in the humanities and social sciences about the “Arab Spring” wave of protests, by Associate Editor Clifton Parker

Bringing history to life,” about university-schools collaboration that helps school teachers — and their students — go beyond a litany of facts in learning history. Written by Sasha Abramsky, a lecturer in the University Writing Program, freelance journalist and a part-time writer for the magazine.

Ted is blooming!

Ted the Titan began to open up yesterday afternoon. I visited about 9 am this morning and Ted the corpse flower in bloomthe plant is looking spectacular and giving off a truly awful stink. The greenhouse on Kleiber Hall drive will be open to the public until about 9 pm tonight, so stop by and take in one of nature’s wonders.

This picture was taken at 9 am this morning.

Congratulations to Ernesto and the Botanical Conservatory team on another successful flowering!

Ted the Titan teaser

We’ve been on tenterhooks since Monday, but as of 1.30 pm today, still no sign of Ted the Titan actually opening up his smelly bloom. Keep checking the Botanical Conservatory website and the UCD Titan Arums Facebook page for updates. In previous years the flower has opened up around midday or early afternoon and lasted through most of the next day.

Expecting a happy event at the greenhouse

We’re expecting a happy event at the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory greenhouse. Ted the Titan, a Titan arum or “corpse flower,” is set to bloom as soon as tomorrow. This will be Ted’s fifth bloom, having previously flowered in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. Another plant, Tabatha, flowered in 2004; Phyllis, propagated from Tabatha, flowered in 2009 within weeks of Ted.

These flowers are native to the Indonesian jungle. They may take 15 years to flower and only do so every couple of years or so. The flower is large, red and smells like rotting meat to attract flies that will pollinate it.

Two from UC Davis among 15 HHMI/GBMF plant biology fellows

Two plant scientists from UC Davis, Simon Chan from the Department of Plant Biology and Jorge Dubcovsky from the Department of Plant Sciences are among 15 across the nation named as Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Investigators this morning.

(Yes, we have two departments of plant biology. Actually four counting Plant Pathology and Agriculture and Range Science…that’s how we roll at UC Davis.)

The organizations will pay their salaries and benefits and support their research for the next five years, freeing them of the need to apply for new grants.

Tonight, Through the Wormhole

UC Davis cosmologist Andreas Albrecht appears on “Through the Wormhole” airing tonight on The Science Channel, 10 p.m., hosted by Morgan Freeman.

Tonight’s episode asks Albrecht and other experts, “Why do we care?” about the size and shape of the universe — which may in fact may be just one of teeming universes in the multiverse.

Treating rabies, at home and around the world

An 8-year-old from Humboldt County has become only the third person in the U.S. to have survived neurological rabies after being treated at UC Davis Medical Center. Precious Reynolds was put into a drug-induced coma while her body fought off the virus —  an experimental protocol first used in Wisconsin in 2004. Read the full story here.

In the U.S., most people bitten by a rabid animal are treated with antibodies to block the infection before it can reach the nervous system. If the rabies virus does reach the central nervous system, the results are almost always fatal — with Precious being a rare exception.

Fellowships available for summer program for science teachers

The UC Davis Center for Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) is offering a six-week summer program aimed at K-12 teachers from June 20 to July 29, and stipends of up to $4,800 are available for teachers who attend.

Attendees will be trained in computing and computer programming, with the aim of integrating these skills into their classroom teaching.

For more information or to apply, go to

UC Davis to partner with BGI, world’s biggest genome institute

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Jian Wang, director of BGI (formerly the Beijing Genome Institute) signed a formal agreement to establish the BGI@UC Davis Partnership during a meeting in Shenzhen, one of China’s Special Economic Zones.

Under the agreement, UC Davis faculty and students will gain access to the capabilities and expertise of one of the world’s premier genomics and bioinformatics companies, while BGI researchers will be able to access the university’s diverse resources and expertise in education and research, especially in biology, human and veterinary medicine, agriculture and the environment.