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1. Engineering Undergraduates Use DNA Origami to Target Cancer

A team of engineering students has a cancer-fighting idea up its sleeve—and the sleeve is nanoscale. The idea is based on a new cutting-edge research tool called DNA origami in which scientists literally fold the molecules of life into two- and three-dimensional shapes. The UC San Diego team plans to compete in Harvard's BIOMOD 2017 competition—a molecular design competition for undergraduates.

2. Through the Looking Glass

Aira is a remote assistive technology platform that combines wearable smart device technology—such as Google Glass—with personalized service. It connects visually impaired users with remote agents to interpret the data stream from smart glasses and assist them in navigating their way around their environment. When an Aira user needs assistance, he or she dons the glasses and has the ability to connect with an agent instantly by pushing a button to trigger an alert.

3. What Kind of La Niña Year Is This?

Scientists had been anticipating since last summer that La Niña, the phenomenon often associated with dry and somewhat cool weather on the West Coast, would develop this winter and extend a five-year drought across the Southwest.

4. Turning Point with China

With the United States-China relationship in a precarious state, the new presidential administration must urgently reassess U.S. policy toward China, a group of prominent China specialists led by UC San Diego professor Susan Shirk conclude in a new report.

5. Access and Opportunity: UC San Diego Leading the Way in Upward Social Mobility

A new study reported by the New York Times names the University of California San Diego as one of the best colleges in the country for providing upward social mobility to diverse students across California and the U.S. Among highly selective public universities, UC San Diego has the highest population of low-income students, and with a degree from the campus, these students have a high probability of thriving in the middle class and beyond. “The median family income of a student from UC San Diego is $82,000,” the Times stated.

6. Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Speak at UC San Diego Commencement

The University of California San Diego, one of the top 15 research universities in the world and recognized for its contributions to the public good, in partnership with The Friends of the Dalai Lama Foundation, founded by Ven. Lama Tenzin Dhonden the Personal Emissary for Peace to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, today announced that the exiled spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people will offer the keynote address at the invitation-only UC San Diego All Campus Commencement June17, 2017. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will also speak June 16 at a second event, which will be open to the public. This will be his first 2017 U. S. tour stop.

7. Making a Mark in Downtown

In December, the university announced its plans to build an Innovative Cultural and Education Hub in downtown San Diego at the corner of Park Avenue and Market Street. The new center will connect a wide range of campus programs to the downtown innovation community and more closely link diverse neighborhoods throughout San Diego’s urban core.

8. Engineering Students Design Experiment to Test Whether Beer Can Be Brewed on the Moon

Can beer be brewed on the moon? A team of UC San Diego engineering students is hoping to find out. They are finalists in the Lab2Moon competition being held by TeamIndus, one of the four teams with a signed launch contract to send a spacecraft to the moon as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge. The experiment will test the viability of yeast on the moon—and result in a freshly brewed batch of beer.

9. UC San Diego Moves Forward on Path to Division I

UC San Diego is one step closer to the reclassification as a non-football NCAA Division I university. The campus’s Academic Senate recently announced by vote of its membership that it has endorsed moving forward to Division I. 

10. Junior Seau Foundation Supports Brain Injury Studies and Education

Thanks to support from the Junior Seau Foundation, a room full of high school students from The Preuss School UCSD recently gathered at UC San Diego to learn about the science of the brain and traumatic brain injury prevention from neurobiology professor Gentry Patrick. The inaugural Junior Seau Lectureship program held on Dec. 14 kicked off a special announcement of the Junior Seau Foundation’s $250,000 gift to support brain injury research and education at UC San Diego.