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1. 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.

2. 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. 

3. 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.

4. Unraveling the Complexity of Mother’s Milk

Breast milk is known to provide the best source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and for premature babies, it can be lifesaving. Yet much about the composition of human milk and what makes it so beneficial is still a mystery. To help scientists bridge this knowledge gap, the Switzerland-based Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation has made a $10.5 million gift to UC San Diego, home to one of the world’s only centers dedicated to human milk research.

5. UC San Diego Archaeologist Explores Prehistoric Sites in Indian State for Conservation

UC San Diego professor of anthropology Thomas E. Levy, who directs the Qualcomm Institute’s Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability, spent a week in the Indian state of Telagana visiting 10 ancient sites, including one of the largest groups of ‘standing stones’ thousands of years old. Levy hopes to return with an expedition to document the little-known sites for digital conservation.

6. Creating Clinical Bioengineers

A group of bioengineering students huddle around a computer screen as colored images of blood being pumped through a heart flash across the screen. The students are observing as a physician annotates an MRI of a patient’s heart and recommend treatment.

7. Opening of New Era in Medicine at UC San Diego

Redefining the standard of specialized inpatient care in San Diego, the long-awaited Jacobs Medical Center opened its doors to patients last week after nearly a decade of planning and construction. By the end of opening day, more than 100 patients—from neonates in incubators to adults battling cancer—had been safely transferred to the new hospital’s specialty care units.

8. Walking the Talk

Karthik Muralidharan joined UC San Diego’s Department of Economics in 2008, after earning his Ph.D. at Harvard University. An affiliate of several prominent research organizations, he recently accepted an invitation to serve as an honorary advisor to the National Institution for Transforming India, an initiative of the Indian federal government. He will be working with the secretaries of education in the Indian states.

9. Hacking a Revolution in Biology

Graduate studies within any single scientific discipline are challenging endeavors on their own. But imagine combining graduate school-level training in physics and mathematics with advanced research in engineering and biology.

10. Creating a New Kind of Climate Warrior

Project Surya, introduced by Scripps climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan, found that women in poor Indian villages would more readily replace traditional polluting cookstoves with new clean-burning ones if the women could be more easily compensated for using such stoves and the stoves were easier to repair. If the use of cleaner stoves were scaled up, a very large but relatively short-lived contributor to global warming could be substantially diminished.