Institutional Change and Stability in Community Colleges and Universities

Professor John S. Levin

John S. Levin, professor of higher education in the Graduate School of Education is the author of a new book, “Community Colleges and New Universities Under Neoliberal Pressures: Organizational Change and Stability.” The publisher is Palgrave MacMillan in New York.

Levin’s book addresses how, and in what ways, educational practices at both community colleges and former community colleges (now universities)—are linked to policies that reflect neoliberal values. The book shows that specific behaviors and actions of these seven institutions adhered to, mediated, and opposed policies associated with neoliberalism.

Researchers Aim to Disrupt Egg Production in Dengue- and Zika-spreading Mosquito

USDA

The mosquito Aedes aegypti, which can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, and yellow fever virus, requires a blood meal to develop eggs.

A team of scientists at UCR co-led by Fedor V. Karginov, an assistant professor of cell biology and neuroscience, and Alexander S. Raikhel, a distinguished professor of entomology, studied microRNA expression in the Aedes aegypti fat body—the metabolic center that plays a key role in reproduction. Identifying which miRNAs are important to fat body functions, and what specific genes they target, can help design ways to manipulate the levels of microRNA or their targets, affect their interactions, disrupt mosquito reproduction, and thus prevent the spread of diseases the mosquitoes transmit.

The researchers report online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they observed five major microRNA expression peaks within a 48-hour period following the female mosquito’s blood meal. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Read the full article.

Model Helps Explain Why Some Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Have Seizures

An image from the research is featured on the cover of volume 346 (pages 409-422) of the journal Neuroscience. ELSEVIER

UC Riverside study could lead to the development of drugs aimed at reducing seizures in multiple sclerosis (MS), potentially benefiting epilepsy patients, as well.

Multiple sclerosis is triggered when the immune system attacks the protective covering around nerve fibers, called the myelin sheath, a process called demyelination.

Using a mouse model, the team of scientists have found for the first time that chronic demyelination is closely linked to, and is likely the cause of, these seizures. Reporting in the journal Neuroscience, the researchers also note that certain neurons in the brain, called “parvalbumin interneurons,” which are important for keeping hyperactivity down, are modified and lost when extensive demyelination occurs in the brain’s cortex and hippocampus.

“Demyelination causes damage to axons and neuronal loss, specifically parvalbumin interneurons are lost in mice, hyperactivity is no longer down but up, and this could be a cause of seizures,” said Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the UC Riverside School of Medicine, whose laboratory authored the research. “It’s very likely this is what is occurring in those patients with MS who are experiencing seizures.”

Read the full article.

No, That’s Not a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

A close-up of the brown recluse spider.Rick Vetter

Paper co-authored by UCR spider expert, Rick Vetter, outlines expressions of skin conditions often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites. Vetter worked along with lead author W. Van Stoecker and Jonathan Dyer, both dermatologists in Missouri who specialize in treating brown recluse bites.

“People always tell you what a brown recluse bite looks like, so what I started emphasizing is, ‘This is what a brown recluse bite doesn’t look like,’” Vetter said. “That message really has the potential to save lives.”

In the JAMA Dermatology paper, Vetter and the dermatologists from the University of Missouri Health Sciences Center introduce a mnemonic device – NOT RECLUSE – that they created to describe the most common skin signs that are misdiagnosed as brown recluse bite.

Vetter has more than 140 publications in scientific and medical journals, including more than 100 about spiders with more than half of those about brown recluse spiders. The paper is called “NOT RECLUSE: A Mnemomic Device to Avoid False Diagnosis of Brown Recluse Spider Bites.”

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