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Santa Cruz, CA, United States

The University of California, Santa Cruz , is a public, collegiate university and one of 10 campuses in the University of California system. Located 75 miles south of San Francisco at the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz, the campus lies on 2,001 acres of rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.Founded in 1965, UC Santa Cruz began as a showcase for progressive, cross-disciplinary undergraduate education, innovative teaching methods and contemporary architecture. Since then, it has evolved into a modern research university with a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate programs, while retaining its reputation for strong undergraduate support and student political activism. The residential college system, which consists of ten small colleges, is intended to combine the student support of a small college with the resources of a major university . Wikipedia.

Fu X.-D.,University of California at San Diego | Ares M.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2014

Sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) bind to pre-mRNA to control alternative splicing, but it is not yet possible to read the 'splicing code' that dictates splicing regulation on the basis of genome sequence. Each alternative splicing event is controlled by multiple RBPs, the combined action of which creates a distribution of alternatively spliced products in a given cell type. As each cell type expresses a distinct array of RBPs, the interpretation of regulatory information on a given RNA target is exceedingly dependent on the cell type. RBPs also control each other's functions at many levels, including by mutual modulation of their binding activities on specific regulatory RNA elements. In this Review, we describe some of the emerging rules that govern the highly context-dependent and combinatorial nature of alternative splicing regulation. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Madau P.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Dickinson M.,National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Over the past two decades, an avalanche of new data from multiwavelength imaging and spectroscopic surveys has revolutionized our view of galaxy formation and evolution. Here we review the range of complementary techniques and theoretical tools that allow astronomers to map the cosmic history of star formation, heavy element production, and reionization of the Universe from the cosmic "dark ages" to the present epoch. A consistent picture is emerging, whereby the star-formation rate density peaked approximately 3.5 Gyr after the Big Bang, at z≈1.9, and declined exponentially at later times, with an e-folding timescale of 3.9 Gyr. Half of the stellar mass observed today was formed before a redshift z = 1.3. About 25% formed before the peak of the cosmic star-formation rate density, and another 25% formed after z = 0.7. Less than ∼1% of today's stars formed during the epoch of reionization. Under the assumption of a universal initial mass function, the global stellar mass density inferred at any epoch matches reasonably well the time integral of all the preceding star-formation activity. The comoving rates of star formation and central black hole accretion follow a similar rise and fall, offering evidence for coevolution of black holes and their host galaxies. The rise of the mean metallicity of the Universe to about 0.001 solar by z = 6, one Gyr after the Big Bang, appears to have been accompanied by the production of fewer than ten hydrogen Lyman-continuum photons per baryon, a rather tight budget for cosmological reionization. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews.

Shakouri A.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Annual Review of Materials Research | Year: 2011

Recent advances in semiconductor thermoelectric physics and materials are reviewed. A key requirement to improve the energy conversion efficiency is to increase the Seebeck coefficient (S) and the electrical conductivity (σ) while reducing the electronic and lattice contributions to thermal conductivity (κe + κL). Some new physical concepts and nanostructures make it possible to modify the trade-offs between the bulk material properties through changes in the density of states, scattering rates, and interface effects on electron and phonon transport. We review recent experimental and theoretical results on nanostructured materials of various dimensions: superlattices, nanowires, nanodots, and solid-state thermionic power generation devices. Most of the recent success has been in the reduction of lattice thermal conductivity with the concurrent maintenance of good electrical conductivity. Several theoretical and experimental results to improve the thermoelectric power factor (S2σ) and to reduce the Lorenz number (σ/κe) are presented. We briefly describe recent developments in nonlinear thermoelectrics, as well as the generalization of the Bergman theorem for composite materials. Although the material thermoelectric figure of merit Z [=S2σ/(κe + κL)] is a key parameter to optimize, one has to consider the whole system in an energy conversion application. A rarely discussed but important efficiency/cost trade-off for thermoelectric power generation is briefly reviewed, and research directions for the development of low-cost thermoelectric materials are identified. Finally, we highlight the importance of the figure of merit, Z, beyond macroscale energy conversion applications in describing the microscopic coupling between charge and energy transport in materials. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Krumholz M.R.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Physics Reports | Year: 2014

Star formation lies at the center of a web of processes that drive cosmic evolution: generation of radiant energy, synthesis of elements, formation of planets, and development of life. Decades of observations have yielded a variety of empirical rules about how it operates, but at present we have no comprehensive, quantitative theory. In this review I discuss the current state of the field of star formation, focusing on three central questions: What controls the rate at which gas in a galaxy converts to stars? What determines how those stars are clustered, and what fraction of the stellar population ends up in gravitationally-bound structures? What determines the stellar initial mass function, and does it vary with star-forming environment? I use these three questions as a lens to introduce the basics of star formation, beginning with a review of the observational phenomenology and the basic physical processes. I then review the status of current theories that attempt to solve each of the three problems, pointing out links between them and opportunities for theoretical and numerical work that crosses the scale between them. I conclude with a discussion of prospects for theoretical progress in the coming years. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Maxwell S.M.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Nature communications | Year: 2013

Stressors associated with human activities interact in complex ways to affect marine ecosystems, yet we lack spatially explicit assessments of cumulative impacts on ecologically and economically key components such as marine predators. Here we develop a metric of cumulative utilization and impact (CUI) on marine predators by combining electronic tracking data of eight protected predator species (n=685 individuals) in the California Current Ecosystem with data on 24 anthropogenic stressors. We show significant variation in CUI with some of the highest impacts within US National Marine Sanctuaries. High variation in underlying species and cumulative impact distributions means that neither alone is sufficient for effective spatial management. Instead, comprehensive management approaches accounting for both cumulative human impacts and trade-offs among multiple stressors must be applied in planning the use of marine resources.

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