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Brenda Ortiz

RadioBio Breaks Down Science Through the Airwaves

Audio has become a top form of entertainment over the past several years, in large part due to the rising popularity of podcasts. UC Merced graduate students are seizing the opportunity to help improve science literacy.

A group of Quantitative and Systems Biology (QSB) graduate students started RadioBio, a science podcast that discusses biology topics, in 2016. The podcast sparked from a discussion between the students and Professor Fred Wolf during a graduate professional skills development course.

Grad Students Vie for Spot in UC Grad Slam Finals

UC Merced’s Graduate Division will host its Grad Slam competition on April 18 with graduate scholars presenting on topics ranging from Valley Fever immune response and antibiotic resistance to computer vision and mathematical methods for thermal collection. This year’s competition started in March with 30 graduate students in the qualifying round, from which the judges narrowed the field to the top 12.

The campus’s 2019 Grad Slam semi-finalists are:

Study: Tiny ‘Ecosystem Engineers’ Are an Overlooked Source of Carbon Dioxide Emissions

It’s estimated that a leaf-cutter ant colony can strip an average tree of its foliage in a day, and that more than 17 percent of leaf production by plants surrounding a colony goes straight into their giant, fungus-growing nests.

It’s no wonder these ants are considered the smallest recyclers on the planet and are referred to as "ecosystem engineers" by scientists because of the effects they have on the environment around them.

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