Media Watch

Medical Xpress

Unique 'home built' device provides fast disease analysis in kidneys affected by diabetes

Medical Xpress -
Suman Ranjit started to work on this clinical project using what he calls his "home built" device while a postdoctoral scholar at UC Irvine's Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics, but completed it at Georgetown. He now has applied for federal grants that will help him "shrink" this idea into a small handheld device that could be used in operating rooms, and to further improve automation and imaging speed. Read More
Nature International Weekly Journal of Science

Water from a stone

Nature -
Water is necessary for life, yet life persists in even the most extreme arid environments. In the Atacama Desert of Chile, the driest non-polar region on Earth, colonies of endolithic microbes marble the rocks, impervious to the deadly low humidity levels. The only way for these endoliths to survive in the Atacama is to extract water from the rocks in which they live. Their mechanisms of water uptake, however, are poorly understood. David Kisailus from the University of California Irvine, USA, and colleagues, grew a cyanobacterium isolated from the Atacama Desert on gypsum. Read More
The National Interest

Climate change increases risk of ‘cascading’ natural disasters

The National Interest -
Amir AghaKouchak, UCI associate professor of civil & environmental engineering and Farshid Vahedifard write, “Multiple hazardous events are considered cascading when they act as a series of toppling dominoes, such as flooding and landslides that occur after rain over wildfires. Cascading events may begin in small areas but can intensify and spread to influence larger areas.” Read More
The New York TImes

‘Expect More’: Climate Change Raises Risk of Dam Failures

The New York Times -
“We should expect more of these down the road,” said Amir AghaKouchak, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s unfortunate but this is what the trend is going to be.” Overall, he and others say, dams in the United States and elsewhere are unprepared for the changes coming in a warming world. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here:] Read More

SoCal Sewage Study to Track COVID-19

CBS2 -
Dr. Sunny Jiang, professor and chair of civil & environmental engineering discusses UC Irvine studying wastewater as a possible early warning for COVID-19. Read More
Los Angeles Times

First-of-its-kind clean hydrogen plant planned for Los Angeles County

Los Angeles Times -
If the firm can produce hydrogen at the low price point it’s claiming — reliably enough to attract investors, and without generating noxious byproducts — it would be a big deal, said Jeffrey Reed, a renewable fuels expert at the University of California, Irvine. “Gasification is potentially quite cost effective for producing hydrogen,” he said. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to] Read More

ACE Member Institutions Lead the Way in Research and Technology to Fight COVID-19

Likewise, two doctors at University of California, Irvine (UCI) have joined with the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic to build a “bridge" ventilator—a device that can be sold inexpensively, made quickly, and help relieve some of the pressure on intensive care units. “It's a once-in-a-generation call to arms that we all must respond to," said UCI surgeon Brian Wong. “Our designs are different. We're building 'bridge' devices that can be easily made to serve as stopgaps when medical-grade ventilators are not in full supply." Read More

How extreme bacteria squeeze water from a stone

Chemical & Engineering News -
Johns Hopkins University microbiologist Jocelyne DiRuggiero wanted to find out how it’s possible for a microbe to carry out photosynthesis in an environment where there is essentially no water available. So she collaborated with University of California, Irvine, materials scientist David Kisailus, who probed the biogeochemical relationship between microbe and rock using a battery of analytical tools usually reserved for studying nonliving materials. Using X-ray imaging, electron microscopy, and spectroscopy to examine Atacama rocks, Kisailus and DiRuggiero got a close look at what the bacteria are doing. Read More
Massive Science

Extreme microbes survive the desert by dissolving rocks with acid

Massive Science -
“How the heck could these organisms live in this extreme environment?” says David Kisailus, who led the work published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Kisailus, a materials scientist at the University of California Irvine fittingly likens the water extraction to “getting blood from a stone.” Read More
Environmental News Network

Microorganisms in Parched Regions Extract Needed Water From Colonized Rocks

Environmental News Network -
In Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, microorganisms are able to eke out an existence by extracting water from the very rocks they colonize. Through work in the field and laboratory experiments, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, as well as Johns Hopkins University and UC Riverside, gained an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms by which some cyanobacteria survive in harsh surroundings. Read More