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UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

December 13, 2019

We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design, a joint initiative of the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences at the University of California San Diego. Our goal is to position UC San Diego as the recognized global academic leader in nanoscale and quantum materials design and discovery. The Institute’s unique approach will be to apply data analytics and machine learning together with rapid materials synthesis and multi-scale characterization in order to accelerate the discovery, design, synthesis and evaluation of novel functional materials. Full Story


Discovering the Magic Number of Earth Ice Molecules

Discovering the Magic Number of Earth Ice Molecules

November 18, 2019

An international team of researchers, including scientists from UC San Diego, identified the number of molecules it takes to turn water into ice, solving a decades-old chemistry mystery. Full Story


Waking Up to Why Sleep Health Matters

Waking Up to Why Sleep Health Matters

October 31, 2019

UC San Diego students, scientists drive new initiative aimed at helping the public "see the light" on circadian rhythms and sleep health. Full Story


Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

October 16, 2019

Material scientists have discovered what makes the scales of the massive Amazonian freshwater fish, Arapaima gigas, resistant to breaking when a piranha bites. The answer could serve as inspiration for stronger, lightweight and flexible synthetic armors. Full Story


Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

September 19, 2019

Even millions of chewing cycles and regular contact with rocks and hard shells can’t dull sea urchins’ teeth. New research from Northwestern Engineering researchers, in collaboration with the University of California San Diego, reveals that the chemical composition and microstructure of sea urchin teeth are optimized for sharpness preservation – findings with the potential to influence the design of tools for mining, boring, and machining operations.  Full Story


Exploding Shells Boost Immune Response to Brain Cancer

Exploding Shells Boost Immune Response to Brain Cancer

September 17, 2019

Researchers at the University of California San Diego figured out a way to combine FDA-approved ultrasound with engineered glass particles to boost the effectiveness of immunotherapy in glioblastomas. Full Story


How to simulate softness

How to simulate softness

August 30, 2019

UC San Diego researchers discovered clever tricks to design materials that replicate different levels of perceived softness. The findings provide fundamental insights into designing tactile materials and haptic interfaces that can recreate realistic touch sensations. Full Story


Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

August 22, 2019

Using lasers, engineers have developed a new ceramic welding technology that works in ambient conditions, making it more practical than traditional methods that require melting the parts in a furnace at extremely high temperatures. This could make it possible to build ceramic-encased electronics. Full Story


Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

August 21, 2019

UC San Diego researchers have discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail, challenging a long-held belief in the field. The study presents new ways to boost battery performance and brings research a step closer to incorporating lithium anodes into rechargeable batteries.  Full Story


A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges in San Diego

A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges in San Diego

July 1, 2019

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 – liquefied gas electrolytes – could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries: replacing the graphite anode with a lithium-metal anode. The research, published July 1, 2019 by the journal Joule, builds on innovations first reported in Science in 2017 by the same research group at the University of California San Diego and the university spinout South 8 Technologies. Full Story


Engineers use graph networks to accurately predict properties of molecules and crystals

Engineers use graph networks to accurately predict properties of molecules and crystals

June 10, 2019

Nanoengineers at UC San Diego have developed new deep learning models that can accurately predict the properties of molecules and crystals. The models can enable researchers to rapidly scan the nearly-infinite universe of compounds to discover potentially transformative materials for various applications, such as high-energy density Li-ion batteries, warm-white LEDs, and better photovoltaics. Full Story


Researchers discover what makes deep-sea dragonfish teeth transparent

Researchers discover what makes deep-sea dragonfish teeth transparent

June 5, 2019

Researchers discovered what makes the teeth of the deep-sea dragonfish transparent. This unique adaptation, which helps camouflage the dragonfish from their prey, results from their teeth having an unusually crystalline nanostructure mixed with amorphous regions. The findings could provide “bioinspiration” for transparent ceramics. Full Story


How plant viruses can be used to ward off pests and keep plants healthy

How plant viruses can be used to ward off pests and keep plants healthy

May 20, 2019

Imagine a technology that could target pesticides to treat specific spots deep within the soil, making them more effective at controlling infestations while limiting their toxicity to the environment. Researchers at UC San Diego and Case Western Reserve University have taken a step toward that goal. Full Story


Chemists Cook Up Elusive Molecule for the First Time

Chemists Cook Up Elusive Molecule for the First Time

March 27, 2019

During this International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, scientists from UC San Diego have isolated a 3+7 diatomic molecule by isolating a metal compound containing the elusive BF. An unstable cousin to the highly toxic carbon monoxide (CO) and the benignly common dinitrogen (N2), BF-chemically known as boron monoflouride-has only been studied theoretically, computationally or at extremely high temperatures in the gas phase-until now. Full Story


Scientists discover how Proteins interact along Metabolic Pathway

Scientists discover how Proteins interact along Metabolic Pathway

March 18, 2019

Research writes new chapter in the story of fatty acid biosynthesis and its potential for new antibiotics and renewable resources. Full Story


X-rays reveal why adding a bit of salt improves perovskite solar cells

X-rays reveal why adding a bit of salt improves perovskite solar cells

February 7, 2019

New findings about perovskites could pave the way to developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using high-intensity X-ray mapping, researchers explain why adding small amounts of cesium and rubidium salt improves the performance of perovskite solar cells.  Full Story


Feathers: better than Velcro?

Feathers: better than Velcro?

January 16, 2019

You may have seen a kid play with a feather, or you may have played with one yourself: Running a hand along a feather’s barbs and watching as the feather unzips and zips, seeming to miraculously pull itself back together. That “magical” zipping mechanism could provide a model for new adhesives and new aerospace materials, according to engineers at the University of California San Diego. They detail their findings in the Jan. 16 issue of Science Advances in a paper titled “Scaling of bird wings and feathers for efficient flight.” Full Story


3D printed implants promote nerve cell growth to treat spinal cord injury

3D printed implants promote nerve cell growth to treat spinal cord injury

January 14, 2019

3D printed implants could one day help restore neural connections and lost motor function in patients with spinal cord injury. The implants, developed by engineers and neuroscientists at the University of California San Diego, are soft bridges that guide new nerve cells to grow across a tear or break in an injured spinal cord. The work has so far shown promise in rats with severe spinal cord injury. Full Story


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