Research

UCI professor William Cooper and his students count and catalog plastic trash

Trashing the ocean

On a clear spring day at Crystal Cove State Park, UC Irvine professor William Cooper and undergraduate Tova Handelman sift though a mound of seaweed and sand, oblivious to the curious stares of beachgoers. They’re too busy studying trash. “Look at all this plastic!” says Cooper, picking out a pellet no bigger than a grain […]

Hub of healing

What excites Nan Luke about the new Sue and Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute at UC Irvine isn’t the spacious clinic or pristine laboratories, offices and meeting rooms. It’s the interaction that will take place there between patients like herself and researchers. Both are driving the effort to see if and how stem cells […]

Jay Famiglietti

A glass half empty

It may have been a rainy winter, but there’s still cause for concern about California’s water supply. Just ask Jay Famiglietti, UC Irvine Earth system science professor and founding director of the new UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling, which aims to help the state tackle its drought-induced water crisis. Famiglietti recently made headlines when he and NASA […]

Neuroscientist James Fallon

Killer instinct

It’s a lecture UC Irvine neuroscientist James Fallon has delivered around the world, even on the hit TV show “Criminal Minds.” Discussing the biological traits of murderers, Fallon describes how he correctly identified 30 killers out of 70 subjects in a double-blind experiment simply by studying their brain scans. Audiences are fascinated. But a couple years ago, […]

Yellowthroat warbler

Nature’s steward

For William Bretz, there’s no such thing as just another day at the office. Instead of working behind a desk, he’s usually behind the wheel of a mud-splattered SUV, making the rounds at the San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh Reserve. On this bright December morning, rolling along an earthen dike, he encounters a flock of Canada […]

Cactus Wren

For the birds

Kristine Preston steps softly onto UC Irvine’s Ecological Preserve, 62 acres of cheerful wildflowers and sweet-smelling sage scrub tucked above University Hills. “We had a pair of birds using this plant two days ago, which is just incredible,” she whispers, pointing to a large prickly pear cactus. The 40-year-old plant is one of a whole […]

Dr. Ralph Clayman

Patient advocate

Levity, gossip and idle chitchat have no place in Dr. Ralph Clayman’s operating room. The pioneer in minimally invasive surgery once asked a gabby colleague to leave in the middle of an operation because the chatterbox lacked focus. Clayman, a urologist so dedicated he gives his home phone number to patients, makes no apologies for […]

Alison Plott

Lessons in laughter

Each stroke of white makeup transforms a face. Rather than conceal, it reveals. The arch of a painted eyebrow, the exaggerated smile or frown, say more than a monologue. And the metamorphosis isn’t limited to the actor; it’s in the audience’s mind as well. Enter Eli Simon’s world, where clowning is an art. “Clowning is […]

UCI neurobiologist Leslie M. Thompson

Race against the clock

Ask UC Irvine neuroscientist Leslie M. Thompson to describe how Huntington’s disease affects patients, and she replies by turning to her computer. “I can show you,” she says. She clicks on a video of patients she visited in Venezuela. On-screen, a middle-aged man stands on a street corner, swaying as if intoxicated. A woman, no […]

Port of Long Beach

Road warriors

As our expanding population outgrows an aging infrastructure, transportation is becoming an increasingly important topic in Orange County and statewide. It also has significant implications for the U.S. economy, considering that transportation-related goods and services account for about 20 percent of the nation’s gross national product. “The safe and efficient movement of people and goods […]