Prominent UC Santa Barbara parasite ecologist Armand Kuris already has a ribbon worm—Carcinonemertes kurisi—wriggling around with his name on it. This summer, a newly discovered fish bladder parasite took the name Chloromyxum kurisi in honor of the leading parasite expert.
UCSB doctoral candidate Alejandra Jaramillo and ecologist Kevin Lafferty discovered the myxozoan at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. The tiny water creature takes over the fish’s kidney, occupying more than 80 percent of the vital organ and releasing its spores in the host animal’s urine. The new species description will be published in the Journal of Parasitology.
A $110 million federal program to develop next-generation chip technology selected the American Institute for Manufacturing of Photonics (AIM Photonics) to lead research, manufacturing and job development in this sector. UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency will head West Coast operations of the public-private partnership, in collaboration with AIM Photonics lead institution, State University of New York.
IEE director John Bowers, a pioneer in the use of light to transmit large quantities of data at record speeds, will lead the UCSB team. Photonic integrated circuits are more energy-efficient, and could result in higher-performance telecommunications and computer technology.
The nationwide collaboration also includes MIT, Stanford University, the University of Arizona, Cal Tech, Columbia University, the University of Virginia, UC Davis, UC Berkely and UC San Diego.
The MIT Technology Review named UCSB chemical engineering professor Michelle O’Malley as one of the “35 Innovators Under 35” to watch in 2015. The annual list recognizes young inventors, entrepreneurs, visionaries, pioneers and humanitarians from around the world. Previous honorees include Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive, and Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg.
O’Malley’s laboratory at UC Santa Barbara is the only facility in the nation able to study the behavior of anaerobic microbes. Her research resulted in new ways to isolate the single-celled oxygen-phobic organisms, revealing the microbes as possible agents for better biofuels and advanced pharmaceuticals.
Neuroscientists at UC Santa Barbara may have discovered a mechanism that could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 10 years. The gene variant is found in the part of the genome that controls inflammation and prevents the protein eotaxin from increasing with age.
The study published in Molecular Psychiatry was co-authored by Matthew Lalli, who earned his doctorate at UC Santa Barbara, and professor Kenneth S. Kosik, co-director of UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute.