Researchers Explain Why Some Wound Infections Become Chronic

Manuela Martins-Green

Manuela Martins-Green

Manuela Martins-Green, professor of cell biology, reports that reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are chemically reactive molecules formed by the partial reduction of oxygen, and biofilms that are formed by selective invading bacteria, are out of control in chronic wound infections.

Excessive ROS can induce chronic inflammation, a key characteristic of wounds that do not heal. The biofilms are bacterial defense mechanisms. Together they create a toxic environment that can resist efforts to heal and close a chronic wound.

Decreasing ROS levels can break the cycle of unhealing wounds according to Martins-Green.

She announced her findings on Dec. 17 in New Orleans, La., at the 53rd annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.

She was joined in the research by UC Riverside’s Sandeep Dhall, Monika Garcia, Danh C. Do and Neal Schiller.

Novel “Attract-and-kill” Approach Could Help Tackle Argentine Ants

UC Riverside entomologists have now developed a “pheromone-assisted technique” as an economically viable approach to maximize the efficacy of conventional sprays targeting the invasive Argentine ant.

They supplemented insecticide sprays with (Z)-9-hexadecenal, a synthetic pheromone attractive to ants, and were able to lure Argentine ants from their trails. The ants were eventually exposed to the insecticide residue, and killed. This is the “attract-and-kill” approach and could potentially provide maximum control efficacy with reduced amount of insecticides applied in the environment.

Study results appeared Dec. 23, 2013, in the online fast-track edition of the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Dwong-Hwan Choe, assistant professor of entomology, was the research project leader. He was accompanied by UCR undergraduate students Kasumi Tsai and Carlos M. Lopez; and laboratory staff research associate Kathleen Campbell.

Diamonds in Earth’s Oldest Zircons Are Nothing but Laboratory Contamination

A team of three researchers, two of whom are at UCR, has discovered using electron microscopy that the diamonds from the Jack Hills zircon, the oldest recorded geological material on the planet, are not diamonds at all but broken fragments of a diamond-polishing compound that got embedded when the zircon specimen was prepared for analysis.

Harry Green, research geophysicist and distinguished professor of the Graduate Division, Larissa Dobrzhinetskaya, professional researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences, and Richard Wirth from Helmholtz Centre Potsdam in Germany published their results online in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Hubble Unveils a Deep Sea of Small and Faint Early Galaxies

A team of scientists led by UCR astronomers, including Brian Siana, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and Anahita Alavi, Ph.D. graduate student, has used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to uncover the long-suspected underlying population of galaxies that produced the bulk of new stars during the universe’s early years.

The galaxies are the smallest, faintest, and most numerous galaxies ever seen in the remote universe, and were captured by Hubble deep exposures taken in ultraviolet light. The 58 young galaxies were photographed as they appeared more than 10 billion years ago.

Study results appear in the Jan. 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, and was presented on Jan. 7 at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington DC.

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