Science

Why Whales? What Sends Land Animals Back to Sea

April 20, 2018
What drives species to move into such a different habitat? Two paleontologists at UC Davis, Geerat Vermeij and Ryosuke Motani, set out to test these ideas by compiling a list of all the groups of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that have re-occupied marine environments and comparing their time of return to the ocean with known mass-extinction events.

Model of Blobs in Earth’s Interior Explains Unusual Pacific Volcanism

April 12, 2018
Deep inside the Earth are two huge blobs of dense rock splayed across the core-mantle boundary. A computer model from UC Davis project scientists Juliane Dannberg and Rene Gassmoeller, members of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, offers new insights into the relationship between the mantle blobs and the lava erupted at some Pacific islands.

7-Year Follow-Up Shows Lasting Cognitive Gains From Meditation

April 07, 2018
Gains in the ability to sustain attention developed through intensive meditation training are maintained up to seven years later, according to a new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. The study is based on the Shamatha Project, a major investigation of the cognitive, psychological and biological effects of meditation led by researchers at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain.

UC Davis Astronomers Help Uncover the Farthest Star Ever Seen

April 02, 2018

Through a lucky quirk of nature, astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to view a single star halfway across the universe. Nine billion light years from Earth, the giant blue-white star, nicknamed “Icarus” by the team, is by far the most distant individual star ever seen. Marusa Bradac, a physics professor and astronomer at UC Davis and graduate student Austin Hoag are part of the team describing Icarus and another distant, magnified star in two papers published April 2 in the journal Nature Astronomy.

UC Davis Graduate Students Give Lawmakers a Taste of their Efforts

March 21, 2018
Graduate students Carina Fish and Jeanelle Hope, from the UC Davis College of Letters and Sciences, are among 26 Ph.D. and master’s students who will visit with state lawmakers and give them first-hand insight into their work and why it merits more state investment.

A New Explanation For the Moon's Origins

February 28, 2018
A new explanation for the moon’s origin has it forming inside the Earth when our planet was a seething, spinning cloud of vaporized rock, called a synestia.