Could Poop Power Our Cars?

Is brown the new green? UCLA researchers are using waste matter (yes, including poop) to make a new generation of advanced biofuels. The U.S. alone annually produces over 1 billion tons of manure from agriculture, which produces nitrous oxide methane emissions, greenhouse gases 325 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But what if all this … Read moreCould Poop Power Our Cars?

UCLA’s Augmented Reality Sandbox

The Augmented Reality Sandbox (orginally developed by researchers at UC Davis) lets users sculpt mountains, canyons and rivers, then fill them with water or even create erupting volcanoes. This version of the device at UCLA was built by Gary Glesener using off-the-shelf parts and good ol’ playground sand. Any shape made in the sandbox is … Read moreUCLA’s Augmented Reality Sandbox

Why carrots taste sweeter in winter

UCLA’s Liz Roth-Johnson explains why carrots have more sugar when it’s cold outside. Because plants are immobile, they must develop defense techniques against predators and the severe cold in winter. For example, carrots have developed the physiological response of increasing their sugar content when it’s cold outside. This helps stop ice crystal formations and prevents … Read moreWhy carrots taste sweeter in winter

Make The Best Pie Ever Using Science

One of the staples of the holiday season is pie and while you may have Grandma’s recipe for the perfect crust, do you really know what goes on at a molecular level? UCLA biophysicist Amy Rowat shares some of the scientific aspects of apple pie and explains how you can apply these insights in the … Read moreMake The Best Pie Ever Using Science

The squishiness of cancer cells

Cells are tiny, but what they can reveal about our health is profound. A misshapen nucleus is bad news. For any given cell, the nucleus — the home of most of a cell’s genetic material — generally takes a fairly consistent shape. But when things go wrong and disease takes hold, the nucleus can become … Read moreThe squishiness of cancer cells

Starting From the Bottom: Why Mexicans are the Most Successful Immigrants in America

A new study from UC Irvine and UCLA challenges our definition of success. Who’s more successful: The child of Chinese immigrants who is now a prominent attorney, or a second-generation Mexican who completed high school and now holds a stable, blue collar job? The answer depends on how you define success. In fact, according to … Read moreStarting From the Bottom: Why Mexicans are the Most Successful Immigrants in America

She loves you, she loves you not

Whether in fiction or history, women have often gotten a bad rap for being fickle. But it may just be evolution. A landmark meta-analysis suggests that ovulating women have evolved to prefer mates who display ‘sexy traits’ (think muscular build, dominant behavior, symmetrical facial features). UCLA psychologist Martie Haselton, who is one of a handful … Read moreShe loves you, she loves you not

Future traffic challenges of flying cars

US aerospace start-up Terrafugia unveiled the TF-X recently, which is a concept car of the future… a very near future with additional plans to build a street legal airplane that can convert from flying to driving in under a minute. UCLA researcher Mario Gerla who studies intelligent transport weighed in on the concept: “We always … Read moreFuture traffic challenges of flying cars

Using weather to shape architecture

When Hirsuta, a small architecture firm run by UCLA Professor Jason Payne, took the task of renovating an old Utah schoolhouse, they noticed that the south side had been nearly weathered away from exposure to the elements while the north side remained untouched.  Payne thought they could use this to their advantage: “We’re looking at … Read moreUsing weather to shape architecture

Using cell phones to detect harmful bacteria

UCLA scientists have developed a cell phone attachment that acts as a microscope and detects pathogens such as E.coli, which contaminates food and drinking water. “The platform is actually a microscope installed on the cell phone, but using some spatial microfluid devices, we converted to a specific sensor of bacteria. We envisioned that such a … Read moreUsing cell phones to detect harmful bacteria