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March 3, 2023

Snow-capped San Gabriel mountains serve as a dramatic backdrop of UCI as viewed from the Ecological Preserve.
Snow-capped San Gabriel mountains serve as a dramatic backdrop of UCI as viewed from the Ecological Preserve. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI


Steven Davis is a professor of Earth system science
Steven Davis is a professor of Earth system science. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

2021 wildfires emitted record-breaking amount of carbon dioxide into atmosphere

An international research team led by UCI Earth system scientists has found that carbon dioxide emissions from wildfires, which have been gradually increasing since 2000, spiked drastically to a record high in 2021. Nearly half a gigaton of carbon (or 1.76 billion tons of CO2) was released from burning boreal forests in North America and Eurasia in 2021, 150 percent higher than annual mean CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2020, the scientists reported in Science. The researchers said that the worsening fires are part of a climate-fire feedback in which carbon dioxide emissions warm the planet, creating conditions that lead to more fires and more emissions.

Saurabh Chatterjee is a professor of occupational and environmental health.
Saurabh Chatterjee is a professor of occupational and environmental health. Photo courtesy of Program in Public Health

Researching a new treatment of Gulf War Illness

Saurabh Chatterjee, a professor of occupational and environmental health, has been awarded a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to lead a three-site phase 2 clinical trial for treating Gulf War illness. The treatment uses nutraceutical butyrate which could help relieve symptoms that affect veterans suffering from fatigue, headaches, joint pain and memory problems. The research team will include faculty from the Program in Public Health and physician scientists from the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach.

Sounding the alarm on Lynch syndrome 

Lynch syndrome is both the most prevalent and underdiagnosed hereditary disorder that increases the risk for developing cancer. People with this inherited genetic disorder have a significantly higher lifetime risk of developing cancers of the colon, uterus, ovaries, stomach and urinary tract, among others. As director of high-risk colorectal cancer services at the UCI Health Digestive Health Institute, Dr. William E. Karnes is on a mission to raise awareness of this condition. But by simply collecting detailed family histories and testing patients whose parents and close relatives had colorectal and other cancers before age 50, colorectal cancer can be prevented or caught at its earliest, most treatable stage with regular screenings.


UC announces grants to fund climate action innovation

On March 1, the University of California announced $15 million in grants for UC innovation and entrepreneurship in support of California’s climate action goals. The awards are part of a historic $185 million partnership between UC and the state of California to tackle the climate crisis, from developing new methods for carbon capture to creating innovative coping strategies for drought, wildfire and other impacts of a warming planet. Each of UC’s 10 campuses will receive $1 million to seed climate-focused entrepreneurial efforts. The two-year grants will build on the innovation and entrepreneurship resources that already exist across the system, with a focus on projects that will aid California communities, particularly those most vulnerable to climate disasters or which have borne the brunt of historic inequities.

Could 3D holograms provide cruelty-free circuses of the future?

The Circus-Theater Roncalli in Germany has become the first circus in the world to use 3D hologram technology to offer audiences the thrill of watching circus animals perform–without using any actual animals. To see how they pulled off this trick, Washington Post photographer Davide Bertuccio decided to check out the act for himself. While the absence of usual animal noises at first seemed strange to him, Bertuccio says that the excited cries of the audience surprised him even more.


Isaac Mizrahi in Person
Sunday 7 p.m. (sponsored by Irvine Barclay Theater)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.
Steve Davis, professor of Earth system science, cited in Associated Press

Carbon emissions from boreal forest fires rose in 2021

Associated Press, March 2
Cited: Steven Davis, professor of Earth system science

Brittany Morey, PhD, assistant professor of public health, cited in Healthline

Too Much or Too Little Sleep Can Increase Your Risk of Getting Sick

Healthline, March 2
Cited: Brittany Morey, PhD, assistant professor of public health

Cailin O’Connor, associate professor of logic and philosophy of science, cited in Wired

The Debate on Deepfake Porn Misses the Point

Wired, March 1
Cited: Cailin O’Connor, associate professor of logic and philosophy of science


Philip Felgner is a professor of physiology & biophysics and director of the UCI Vaccine Research and Development Center.
Philip Felgner is a professor of physiology & biophysics and director of the UCI Vaccine Research and Development Center.

Anteater Express buses showcase UCI shining stars

This week, we’re highlighting some of the UCI shining stars whose images appear on the sides of Anteater Express buses. The ad campaign features 10 students, faculty, staff and alumni who are dedicated to enhancing lives through teaching, cutting-edge research or public service. Be on the lookout for buses with these stellar Anteaters. #UCIPride

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


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Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

UCI Forward – information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates – important information related to UCI Health

UCI Coronavirus Response Center – available at covid19@uci.edu or 949-824-9918

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For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.

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