April 8, 2024
Spring flowers bloom in planters at the Physical Sciences Plaza.
Spring flowers bloom near the Physical Sciences plaza. (Photo: Steve Zylius/UC Irvine)


Researchers build first reference map for harmful DNA

left to right: Wei Li, Ya Cui, Wenbin Ye and Jason Sheng Li
A team led by Wei Li (above left, with co-corresponding authors Ya Cui, Wenbin Ye and Jason Sheng Li) has built the first genetic reference maps for short lengths of DNA that are repeated multiple times and are known to cause more than 50 lethal human diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Huntington’s disease and multiple cancers. The UC Irvine Tandem Genome Aggregation Database enables Lei, a professor of bioinformatics, and other researchers to study how these mutations – called tandem repeat expansions – are connected to diseases, to better understand health disparities and improve diagnostics. Although TR expansions constitute about 6% of the human genome and substantially contribute to complex congenital conditions, scientific understanding of them remains limited.

Art installation will project paintings onto buildings

rendering of the “Plein-Air en Plein Air” installation features an image of Granville Redmond’s painting “California Landscape with Flowers,” circa 1931, oil on canvas, 32 x 80 in., projected onto the Social Science Lab building.
An outdoor campus art exhibition this weekend, “Plein-Air en Plein Air,” will present enlarged images of 28 impressionist paintings from the UC Irvine Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art. The artworks will be projected onto buildings in the School of Social Sciences complex, transforming part of campus into an open-air gallery from 7 p.m. this Friday till 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The commissioned installation was designed by Jesse Colin Jackson, associate professor of electronic art and design, associate dean of research and innovation, and executive director of the Beall Center for Art + Technology.

Fulbright Scholarship competition underway

Competition has begun for the 2025-26 Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards. The program offers over 400 fellowships to U.S. citizens to teach, research and conduct professional projects in more than 130 countries. Resources are available for applicants:

The application deadline is Sept. 16.

Prostate cancer treatment preserves sexual function

More than 285,000 U.S. men are diagnosed each year with prostate cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. Fearing surgery’s possible effect on their urinary or sexual function, many men postpone or even avoid treatment. Doing so is a mistake, says Dr. David I. Lee, director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Program and one of the nation’s leading experts in robot-assisted prostatectomy. If performed in time, Lee’s technique enables the cancer to be removed while protecting the nerves connected to blood vessels, preserving sexual function.


Prizes offered for taking undergrad survey

The UC Undergraduate Experience Survey gathers information about students’ experiences, and UC Irvine students are encouraged to participate. Over $5,000 in prizes will be awarded randomly to those who complete the confidential survey. If you have difficulty accessing the survey or have questions about survey procedures, contact the UCUES coordinator at UCUES@uci.edu. More information is available at UCI UCUES.


Medical intensive care unit earns award

UCI Health nurses

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses awarded a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence to UCI Health’s medical intensive care unit, one of just three MICUs in the state to hold the designation. Award recipients are honored for adhering to the highest standards of acute and critical care nursing.

#UCIconnected spotlights interesting updates from the UCI community. #IamUCI spotlights profiles of students, faculty, staff and alumni. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected or #IamUCI hashtags.


Los Angeles Times logo

These scientists think an ‘awe’-some eclipse could help unite Americans in troubled times

Los Angeles Times, April 7
Cited: Paul Piff, professor of psychology and social behavior

Nature logo

Long-lost photos reveal details of world’s first police crime lab

Nature, April 5
Cited: Simon Cole, professor of criminology, law and society

SFGate logo

How a quirky foot doctor sign became LA's favorite fortuneteller

SFGate, April 8
Cited: Maia Young, associate professor of organization and management

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