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Merced, CA, United States

The University of California, Merced , is the tenth and newest of the University of California campuses. Located in the San Joaquin Valley in unincorporated Merced County, California, near Merced. UC Merced is the first American research university to be built in the 21st century. Most UC Merced students are from California with enrollment nearly evenly divided between Southern California, Central Valley, and Northern California.UC Merced claims to be the only institution in the United States to have all of its buildings on campus to be LEED certified. Its Triple Net Zero Commitment is expected to create zero net landfill waste and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. Wikipedia.

Dawson M.N.,University of California at Merced
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2012

Present-day phylogeographic patterns have been shaped by the dual histories of lineages and places, producing a diversity of relationships that may challenge discovery of general rules. For example, the predicted positive correlation between dispersal ability and gene flow has been supported inconsistently, suggesting unaccounted complexity in theory or the comparative framework. Here, I extend the sympatric sister-species approach, in which variance between lineages and places is minimized, to sister clades and test a fundamental assumption of comparative genetic studies of dispersal: that taxa which evolved at the same time and in the same place will, if they have similar life histories and ecologies, have essentially the same phylogeographic structure. Phylogenetic analyses of 197 Stigmatopora pipefishes using two nuclear (creatine kinase intron 6, α-tropomyosin) and two mitochondrial (16S, noncoding region) loci revealed largely synchronous parallel diversification of sister clades that are codistributed from Western Australia to New Zealand, supporting the null hypothesis. Only one comparison, however, yielded a sympatric sister-species pair (the two stem species), so I also explored the potential for extant species sharing a substantial proportion of their evolutionary histories in sympatry to substitute for sister taxon comparisons. In eastern Australia, where strong environmental structure is lacking, phylogeographic differences between species that have been codistributed for ∼85% of their evolutionary histories were consistent with tendencies favoured by their modest life-history differences, that is the larger, rarer species had lower genetic diversity. In contrast, in New Zealand, two species codistributed for ∼70% of their evolutionary histories were both structured similarly by a strong biogeographic filter despite differences in life history. Rigorously quantifying the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on phylogeographic structure may advance most efficiently through meta-analyses of contemporaneously codistributed taxa, including but not limited to sympatric sister species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Tian L.,University of California at Merced
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

Superconducting qubits connected in an array can form quantum many-body systems such as the quantum Ising model. By coupling the qubits to a superconducting resonator, the combined system forms a circuit QED system. Here, we study the nonlinear behavior in the many-body state of the qubit array using a semiclassical approach. We show that sudden switchings as well as a bistable regime between the ferromagnetic phase and the paramagnetic phase can be observed in the qubit array. A superconducting circuit to implement this system is presented with realistic parameters. © 2010 The American Physical Society. Source

Griffithsin (Grft) is a protein lectin derived from red algae that tightly binds the HIV envelope protein gp120 and effectively inhibits virus infection. This inhibition is due to the binding by Grft of high-mannose saccharides on the surface of gp120. Grft has been shown to be a tight dimer, but the role of the dimer in Grft's anti-HIV function has not been fully explored. To investigate the role of the Grft dimer in anti-HIV function, an obligate dimer of Grft was designed by expressing the protein with a peptide linker between the two subunits. This "Grft-linker-Grft" is a folded protein dimer, apparently nearly identical in structural properties to the wild-type protein. A "one-armed" obligate dimer was also designed (Grft-linker-Grft OneArm), with each of the three carbohydrate binding sites of one subunit mutated while the other subunit remained intact. While both constructed dimers retained the ability to bind gp120 and the viral surface, Grft-linker-Grft OneArm was 84- to 1,010-fold less able to inhibit HIV than wild-type Grft, while Grft-linker-Grft had near-wild-type antiviral potency. Furthermore, while the wild-type protein demonstrated the ability to alter the structure of gp120 by exposing the CD4 binding site, Grft-linker-Grft OneArm largely lost this ability. In experiments to investigate gp120 shedding, it was found that Grft has different effects on gp120 shedding for strains from subtype B and subtype C, and this might correlate with Grft function. Evidence is provided that the dimer form of Grft is critical to the function of this protein in HIV inhibition. Source

Westerling A.L.,University of California at Merced
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2016

Prior work shows western US forest wildfire activity increased abruptly in the mid-1980s. Large forest wildfires and areas burned in them have continued to increase over recent decades, with most of the increase in lightning-ignited fires. Northern US Rockies forests dominated early increases in wildfire activity, and still contributed 50% of the increase in large fires over the last decade. However, the percentage growth in wildfire activity in Pacific northwestern and southwestern US forests has rapidly increased over the last two decades. Wildfire numbers and burned area are also increasing in non-forest vegetation types. Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming and earlier spring snowmelt. Analysis of the drivers of forest wildfire sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring demonstrates that forests at elevations where the historical mean snow-free season ranged between two and four months, with relatively high cumulative warm-season actual evapotranspiration, have been most affected. Increases in large wildfires associated with earlier spring snowmelt scale exponentially with changes in moisture deficit, and moisture deficit changes can explain most of the spatial variability in forest wildfire regime response to the timing of spring. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source

Tian L.,University of California at Merced
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Optomechanical systems with strong coupling can be a powerful medium for quantum state engineering of the cavity modes. Here, we show that quantum state conversion between cavity modes of distinctively different wavelengths can be realized with high fidelity by adiabatically varying the effective optomechanical couplings. The conversion fidelity for Gaussian states is derived by solving the Langevin equation in the adiabatic limit. Meanwhile, we also show that traveling photon pulses can be transmitted between different input and output channels with high fidelity and the output pulse can be engineered via the optomechanical couplings. © 2012 American Physical Society. Source

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