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Craig Vierra, Biological Sciences, Joan and Geoff Lin- Cereghino, Biological Sciences, and Simon Tang, Engineering and Computer Science, recently published the research article "The conserved C-terminal domain of spider tubuliform spidroin 1 contributes to extensibility in synthetic fibers" in Biomacromolecules. The article also featured graduate students Eric Gnesa '11 and Yang Hsia  '11, and undergraduate student Kimiko Agari '12, as co-authors.

Kirk Land, Biological Sciences, and colleagues at Florida International University, Miami, FL had their article "Adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase of the protozoal parasite Trichomonas vaginalis: Potent inhibitory activities of 9-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-b,D-arabinofuranosyl) adenine" published in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.  Co-authors are graduate student Ajit Shokar '12 and undergraduate students Aaron Au '13 and Steven An '13.

Kirk Land, Biological Sciences, and colleagues at the Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, published a chapter in the book Bioterrorism (2012, S.S. Morse, Ed.; InTech Publishers, ISBN 978-953-308-74-5) entitled "Current methods for detecting the presence of botulinum neurotoxins in food and other biological samples."

Joan and Geoff Lin-Cereghino, Biological Sciences, and Andreas Franz, Chemistry, recently published the research article "Analysis of the 5' Untranslated Region (5' UTR) of the Alcohol Oxidase 1 (AOX1) Gene in Recombinant Protein Expression in Pichia pastoris" in the journal Gene. The article featured their former students Zhiguo Harry Li, Ph.D., Chris Staley, M.S., Allison Moy, M.S., Amy Huang, Pharm.D., Thu Le, Pharm. D., Jackson Nguyen, D.D.S, Laura Ray, B.S., Jay Stephens, B.S., and Seth Gomez, B.S. along with current students Maria Nattestad '13, Kristin Oshiro '12, and Tejas Mulye '13, as co-authors.

Richard Tenaza, Biological Sciences, and Linda Burman-Hall, Music at UC Santa Cruz, put together a multimedia concert entitled "Mantawai-Listening to the Rainforest" on January 20th at UC Santa Cruz. This concert joined Tenaza's photography and rare field recordings of endangered species with video footage from Burman-Hall to create a multimedia sound, photo, and video collage of the Mantawai islands in Indonesia aimed at raising awareness of environmental conservation among a fine arts audience.

Stacy Luthy, Biology, and partners from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fishery Foundation of California, and Friends of the Lower Calaveras River conducted an education and outreach event on October 22 for students from A.A. Stagg and Bear Creek high schools.  The students learned about the upstream sections of the Calaveras River, which is the source of much of Stockton's drinking water and is critical habitat for threatened Central Valley Steelhead.

Biology graduate student Bethany Dorin '12 and Stacy Luthy presented a poster "Examining striped bass (Morone saxatilis) predation on hatchery raised Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) using Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON)" at the State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference in Oakland.

Kirk Land and graduate student Ajit Shokar (M.S. '12), Biological Sciences, along with their collaborators at the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine (World Health Organization), University of Cape Town, South Africa, published their work "Synthesis and in vitro evaluation of palladium(II) salicylaldiminato thiosemicarbazone complexes against Trichomonas vaginalis" in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry.  This work highlights cysteine proteases as viable drug targets against this sexually transmitted human parasite.

Ajna Rivera, Biological Sciences, had her article "RNA interference in marine and freshwater sponges: actin knockdown in Tethya wilhelma and Ephydatia muelleri by ingested dsRNA expressing bacteria" published in the peer-reviewed, online journal, BMC Biotechnology. It was listed as a featured article and received Highly Accessed status.

Craig Vierra (principal investigator), Joan Lin-Cereghino and Geoff Lin-Cereghino (co-principal investigators), and Simon Tang (co-principal investigator), School of Engineering, were awarded $320,000 from the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research (DMR) to study the molecular mechanisms and mechanical behavior of spider glue silks. The funding is effective July 1, 2011 and runs for 3 years. This grant, which is highly collaborative in nature, offers excellent training in the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioengineering for Pacifi undergraduate and graduate students.

Craig Vierra, along with students: Yang Hsia (M.S. '11), Eric Gnesa (M.S. '11), and Felicia Jeffery (M.S. '11), also had a chapter "Spider Silk Composites and Applications" published in Metal, Ceramic and Polymeric Composites for Various Uses (John Cuppoletti, ed., InTech, 2011). In addition, Hsia, Gnesa and Vierra presented "Glue Silk Proteins: Molecules with Novel Biomimetic Potential" at the American Arachnological Society (AAS) meeting at Lewis and Clark University in Portland, OR.

Emeriti Professor Steven AndersonLizard Named After Emeritus Professor Steven Anderson

Biology emeritus Steven Anderson has a gecko named after him, the Carinatogecko stevenandersoni. It's a new species of lizard discovered in Iran that was named in his honor last month.

He was granted the honor by Farhang Torki, a researcher who Anderson once advised. Torki announced the discovery of the new gecko species in the latest issue of the journal Salamandra. To read the article that granted the new name or to learn more about the subject, visit http://www.salamandra-journal.com and click on the Torki, F. article.

Professors Publish and Present

Marcos Gridi-Papp and Peter Narins, Physiological Science, UCLA, had the chapter "Seismic detection and communication in amphibians" published in The Use of Vibrations in Communication: Properties, Mechanisms And Function Across Taxa edited by Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell, Otolaryngology, Stanford University.

Dr. Ajna Rivera was a coauthor of the paper "Expansion, diversification and expression of T-box family genes in Porifera" published in Development Genes and Evolution, December 2010 (220:251-262). In addition, her poster "Origins of the Pax/Six gene regulatory network" coauthored with Pacific students Daniel Sassoon and Eric Webb, was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Dr. Geoff Lin-Cereghino gave a platform presentation on the "Secretion and proteolysis of heterologous proteins fused to the Escherichia coli maltose binding protein in Pichia pastoris" at the Cambridge Healthtech Institute PepTalk Conference in San Diego, California on January 12, 2011.

Spider Silk Research Featured in Scientific American

Craig Vierra along with graduate students Coby La Mattina, Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Felicia Jeffery and Tiffany Tuton-Blasingame, has been researching ways to make synthetic spider silk for commercial applications. Their article, "Sticky Business: Video Shows the Right Way to Extract Silk Glands from a Black Widow Spider," was published in the online version of Scientific American on January 19, 2011. The article is accompanied by a video that shows how to dissect a black widow spider and extract its silk glands. The video was recently released on JoVE, the online Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Dr. Tenaza Spoke About Plight of the West Papuans

Dr. Tenaza in the Baliem Valley with men of the Dani tribe
Dr. Tenaza in the Baliem Valley with men of the Dani tribe

Richard Tenaza traveled to Indonesian Papua (the former Irian Jaya) in Western New Guinea to visit the Dani and Asmat tribes in their native habitat. While visiting the area, he became aware of the human rights issues facing the native Papuans, who have been under Indonesian rule since the early 1960s. "The Papuans are treated like second-class citizens, and they are really being squashed," said Tenaza. Dr. Tenaza will be giving a presentation about the plight of the West Papuans on February 22, 2011, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in George Wilson Hall on the Stockton campus. 

Dr. Gridi-Papp Presents at Conference on Vertebrate Morphology

Dr. Marcos Gridi-Papp presented at the symposium "Evolutionary Morphology of the Vocal Apparatus" at the 9th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Dr. Tenaza Honored for Scientific Accomplishments

Richard Tenaza was an Honoree at the Philippine Development Forum and Gala held in San Jose, California. Tenaza was one of 50 Filipino and Filipino American scientists, engineers, educators, and entrepreneurs honored at the occasion for their accomplishments. More than 1,000 participants were present, including Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines.

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