The Lab: research from UCR and the UC system

UC Riverside: UCR researchers focus on earthquake simulations

UCR distinguished geology professor Harry Green and his colleagues broke new grounds in the study of deep earthquakes through the use of new simulation technology. The research allows scientists to peer deep into Earth’s crust to trace and record the propagation of cracks and shock waves, thereby cracking the mystery of deep earthquakes.

Although Green and his colleagues had made the same proposal 20 years ago, their finding had remained controversial and unpopular until a new laboratory facility, synchrotron X-rays, was introduced in the latest research to enable replication of the high pressure and high temperature of Earth’s interior.

Occurring at more than 400 kilometers, deep earthquakes differ radically from the more common, shallow earthquakes (50 kilometers depth). Whereas shifting rocks coalescing causes shallow earthquakes, deep earthquakes are caused by mineral olivine undergoing a phase of transition into a spinel structure.

Green’s finding is published in the Sept. 20 issue of the journal, Science, titled “Deep-Focus Earthquake Analogs Recorded at High Pressure and Temperature in the Laboratory.”

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Courtesy to UCR Today

UC Santa Barbara: Study of national resource preservation in the world

Researchers from the UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis are teaming up with the Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society to form the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) project. The group’s goal is to address the overarching problem of preserving natural resources and sustaining the world population.

“As the world’s population pushes past seven billion, the correlation between nature and the food, water, energy and security needs of people becomes increasingly clear,” said Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy and SNAP. “This collaboration will have immediate appeal and relevance to industry, politicians and average people.”

SNAP’s first and current project titled “Western Amazonia: Balancing Infrastructure Development and Conservation of Waters, Wetlands and Fisheries,” seeks to find a balance between the preservation of ecosystems and the development of buildings, roads and dams in the Amazon.

UC San Diego: Kidney failure research extended with help of $5.64 million grant

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – a branch of The National Institute of Health – recently renewed a five-year grant of $5.64 million dollars shared by UC San Diego and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), to extend its support for the universities’ conjoined research on acute kidney failure.

Researchers at the two universities have joined forces as part of the O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research since 2008. The research center provides unprecedented opportunity for the investigators in both universities to collaborate on acute kidney failure prevention and treatment methods.

“Combining the resources at both centers has enabled us to develop an international collaborative network of investigators who are addressing several important questions in acute kidney injury,” said Ravindra L. Mehta, MD, professor of clinical medicine at UC San Diego Health System and associate director of the center. “Ultimately we hope the enhanced awareness and concentrated research in acute kidney injury will lead to major advances to improve outcomes from this devastating disease.”

Their conjoined effort has resulted in more than 640 collaborative interactions among researchers and more than 175 peer-reviewed scientific publications. A total of $570,000 has been awarded to 15 pilot projects of young investigators. The continued funding will allow researchers to further enhance the collaborative network.

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